AEC reduces design complexity and component cost in hands-free systems - Embedded.com

AEC reduces design complexity and component cost in hands-free systems

Zarlink Semiconductor introduced the second in a family of voice-processing devices that improves voice quality and reduces noise in a range of hands-free communication applications, including car kits, desktop phones, and intercom systems. The ZL38003 acoustic echo canceller (AEC) builds on an algorithm designed to track and reduce background noise and preserve voice quality in high-noise environments. The end result is that hands-free equipment designers get an integrated solution that reduces design complexity, component costs, and board space requirements.

The ZL38003's integrated features, including codecs, programmable gain pads, and a four-port cross-point switch, eliminate the need for many external components. The chip's two 16-bit linear codecs deliver performance that exceeds competing a/law and u/law codec designs by achieving better algorithm and acoustic echo cancellation performance, lower noise level, and fewer non-linearity effects.

The programmable gain lets users adjust a wide range of transducer sensitivities, with two microphone amps and four earpiece amps, enabling connection to a handset, headset, auxiliary channel, and microphone/speaker. The algorithms continuously track changes in the echo path, even during double-talk conditions, and reduce background noise while preserving high voice quality. The chip's full-duplex operation, even when voice signals are low, enables a natural two-way voice conversation. The non-linear processor supports full-duplex speech with no switched loss of the signal path.

The ZL38003 is housed in a 10- by 10-mm 81-ball CABGA (chip array ball grid array). For more about Zarlink's voice processing technology, visit voiceprocessing.zarlink.com. Information specific to the ZL38003 is available at products.zarlink.com/profiles/ZL38003.

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