Conexant Is Working with Amazon to Create AudioSmart Development Kit for Alexa

Conexant Systems, a provider of audio and voice technology, has begun collaborating with Amazon to release an Alexa Voice Service(AVS)-approved AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit for smart home applications. The kit will be available to manufacturers and developers via the Amazon AVS for Raspberry Pi project.

Featuring the Conexant AudioSmart CX20921 Hands-free Voice Input Processor, and Alexa wake word technology, Conexant's AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit for Amazon AVS will allow product developers to build products with Alexa that offer an ideal voice user experience.

Enabling speech recognition and voice control from a distance requires overcoming substantial acoustic challenges related to echo cancellation, background noise, position of microphones, speaker placement, and more. Conexant's dual-microphone voice processing solution recognizes the Alexa wake word and deliver speech requests for processing from anywhere in the room, even in noisy, real-world conditions. The solution also enables voice barge-in, allowing users to interrupt their Alexa device when it's playing sound.

"We created our AVS for Raspberry Pi project to help expedite the development of Alexa smart home products," said Steve Rabuchin, vice president of Amazon Alexa, in a statement. "Conexant's AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit for Amazon AVS unlocks serious voice capture capabilities, allowing developers to achieve a far better AVS user experience through vital voice processing technologies that overcome acoustic and distance challenges. Utilizing Conexant's AVS approved solutions will help third-party manufacturers quickly innovate with Alexa."

The core component of the development kit is Conexant's AudioSmart CX20921 Voice Input Processor running its hands-free voice pre-processing software technology. The Conexant hands-free voice input processor system captures the user's voice from anywhere in the room, separates the voice commands from music and voice prompts being played out of the device, even with background noise present, and provides a clean audio signal to the AVS cloud for speech recognition processing. This solution ensures that AVS hears only the user's command, and nothing else.

Key benefits of the Conexant AudioSmart CX20921 Voice Input Processor include the following:

  • Hands-free voice interaction with only two microphones;
  • Proprietary Smart Source Pickup technology that detects voice and cancels noise from any direction, even if it's coming from the same direction as the speech;
  • Voice barge-in enabled by full duplex stereo acoustic echo cancellation that detects the Alexa wake word even during loud playback of music or voice prompts; and
  • High-dynamic range analog-to-digital converters (ADC), optimized for far-field;

"We created our AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit to provide third-party AVS developers with a high-performance alternative to multimic array designs, supporting high-volume consumer price points," said Saleel Awsare, president of Conexant, in a statement. "We worked closely with Amazon to ensure excellent hands-free voice performance capabilities with AVS. Together with Amazon, we are providing the tools that developers need to prototype with a two-microphone voice capture system and Conexant's advanced voice pre-processing technologies. Our development kit is based on proven technology that is currently deployed in millions of consumer devices and enables developers to quickly create working AVS device prototypes in just a couple of weeks opposed to several months."

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