Enabling true stereo audio streaming to hearing aids

28th November 2018
Alex Lynn

Licensor of signal processing platforms and artificial intelligence processors for smarter, connected devices, CEVA has announced that Sonova Holding, the provider of hearing solutions, has licensed and deployed CEVA’s RivieraWaves Bluetooth IP in its latest SWORD 3.0 wireless chip for hearing aids and other smart hearing devices.

SWORD 3.0 is a hearing aid radio chip to fully support direct binaural streaming of audio content and phone calls from billions of Bluetooth enabled devices. Through data connection of SWORD 3.0 to a smartphone internet access is achieved. This allows hearing aid wearers to have their devices adjusted virtually in real-time, in any situation, anywhere by the hearing care professional. Furthermore voice-to-text phone call transcription is enabled, providing live visual captions as an additional help to the user.

Marc Secall, Director Research & Development Wireless of Sonova, stated: “Our latest generation SWORD chip reinforces our mission to continually introduce new and innovative technologies that greatly improve the user experience of hearing aids. The integration of CEVA’s advanced Bluetooth Dual Mode IP into our wireless chip enables us to bring low power stereo audio streaming and data connectivity to our hearing aids, giving our customers an unparallelled user experience.”

Aviv Malinovitch, Vice President and General Manager of the Connectivity Business Unit at CEVA, added: “We are delighted to formally announce our partnership with Sonova, for our RivieraWaves Bluetooth IP. It’s a testament to the quality of our Bluetooth technology for even the most stringent use cases and we look forward to continuing our work together as Bluetooth looks set to become the wireless standard of choice for hearing aids and other smart hearing devices.”

CEVA’s RivieraWaves Bluetooth IP platforms provide comprehensive solutions for both Bluetooth LE and Bluetooth dual mode connectivity. Each platform consists of a hardware baseband controller, plus a feature-rich software protocol stack. A flexible radio interface allows the platforms to be deployed with either RivieraWaves RF or various partners’ RF IP, enabling optimal selection of foundry and process node.

All Bluetooth 5 features are supported, including LE 2Mbps data rate, Long Range and LE Advertising Extension. Widely adopted with different processor subsystems, CEVA also offers RISC-V based fully integrated platforms. With more than 1.5 billion devices shipped to date and dozens of licensees, the RivieraWaves Bluetooth IP is widely deployed in consumer and IoT devices with many of the world’s leading semiconductors companies and OEMs, including smartphones, tablets, wireless speakers, wireless headsets and earbuds, hearing aids and other wearables.

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