Mixed Signal/Analog

Microphone array aggregator enables smart home applications

22nd March 2016
Nat Bowers

XMOS has announced what is claimed as the world’s most flexible microphone aggregation solution for Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) in smart home applications. With the ability to aggregate up to 32 MEMS microphones, the xCORE Array Microphone offers USB and I2S backhaul, enabling a new class of array microphones to be created.

Suited for applications including smart TVs, soundbars, Virtual Digital Assistants (VDAs) and smart home automation, the solution is delivered as an evaluation board and supporting software libraries.

VUIs are emerging as the only viable approach to interacting with the growing number of smart devices found in our homes. Accurate, far-field voice capture underpins VUI technology and is best achieved using multiple microphones. Many of today’s solutions are limited to just two or four microphones whereas the XMOS solution can be deployed with up to 32, enabling improved user experiences through higher signal-to-noise performance and enhanced control of both sensitivity and directivity.

Commenting on the launch, Paul Neil, Vice President of Marketing, XMOS, said: “Our microphone aggregation solution delivers new levels of performance and flexibility to smart home devices requiring far-field voice capture and speech recognition. Our ability to interface directly with digital MEMS microphones, combined with the integration of control and DSP functions in a single device enables our customers to create highly differentiated products, while reducing their total system BOM.”

“At Rokid, we are integrating the very latest technologies with a unique design aesthetic to create a new type of artificial intelligence for the home. We selected XMOS because of the flexibility of their solution, their ability to aggregate a large number of microphones and the maturity of their backhaul capabilities. With this product, XMOS is well positioned to lead the next generation of voice capture solutions,” commented Dan Wong, CEO, Rokid.

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