Communications

LC3 code implemented for Bluetooth LE audio

8th January 2020
Mick Elliott

An implementation of the Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3) that is expected to be compliant with LE Audio, the next generation of Bluetooth audio, is available now for Cadence Tensilica HiFi DSPs and has been delivered to a lead customer.

LC3 provides higher audio quality at lower bandwidth and affords developers greater flexibility in making trade-offs between audio quality, power consumption and other features for a more optimal user experience.

Cadence licensed reference code from Fraunhofer IIS to enable availability of LC3 in conjunction with the initial LE Audio launch, allowing customers to immediately benefit from the latest enhancements including longer battery life, improved connectivity and multi-user sharing.

“Consumer demand for a wide range of Bluetooth audio-based products from headphones and TWS ear buds to portable speakers continues to explode. We are excited that our contributions to LC3 help deliver higher quality and more robust experiences,“ said Marc Gayer, head of business department in the audio and multimedia division of Fraunhofer IIS. “We worked early on in the development of the codec to ensure that LC3 would run extremely efficiently on the Cadence Tensilica HiFi Audio DSP architecture, which translates to extended battery life for consumers.”

“The fact that the LC3 codec can provide very high-quality audio even at low bitrates makes it a key feature of the upcoming LE Audio standard,” said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). “We are pleased to see member companies working on implementations of the LC3 codec optimised for various processor architectures.”

“Fraunhofer continues to prove that it is an innovative leader in the world of audio/voice codecs with its critical contributions to the new LC3 standard,” said Gerard Andrews, director of audio/voice IP marketing at Cadence. “By working closely with Fraunhofer throughout the development of this audio codec, we are able to offer a highly optimised, ultra-low power implementation on the HiFi architecture in concert with the announcement of LE Audio. This is an example of how we’re continuing to enhance our best-in-class HiFi technology to deliver performance excellence for our customers’ audio and voice implementations.”

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