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Royalty-free codecs enable low-cost HD VoIP

Posted: 13 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:voice codec? open source software? VoIP? Wi-Fi?

Broadcom Corp. is offering its BroadVoice family of voice codecs royalty-free and without any licensing fees. As a direct response to customer demand for advanced, high-quality voice solutions and development tools, Broadcom is releasing its wideband and narrowband BroadVoice codecs in both floating-point and fixed-point C code as open source software under the GNU Lesser General Public License, ver 2.1, as published by the Free Software Foundation.

By removing the royalties and licensing fees required by competitive solutions, Broadcom is driving a cost effective transition to HD VoIP applications while enhancing the quality of voice transmissions enabling a higher quality audio experience. The availability of BroadVoice source code as open source software gives the industry flexibility in how it can be deployed and has the potential of addressing a wide range of next generation voice-related applications.

The BroadVoice family of voice codecs has two variants. The 32Kbit/s versioncalled BroadVoice32suits wideband HD speech sampled at 16KHz. The BroadVoice16 16Kbit/s version is for narrowband telephone-bandwidth speech sampled at 8KHz.

The two codecs reduce the latency, complexity and bandwidth usage on a wide range of wideband and narrowband voice applications such as voice-over-cable, voice-over-DSL, Ethernet IP phones, Wi-Fi VoIP phones and software-based VoIP client solutions. Distortion and echo are also reduced in VoIP applications.

BroadVoice is available on Broadcom's cable, DSL and VoIP SoC solutions enabling manufacturers and service providers to improve the customer's audio experience.

When standardized by SCTE and ANSI, the BroadVoice16 and BroadVoice32 codecs are called BV16 and BV32, respectively. BV16 is a standard codec in PacketCable 1.5, PacketCable 2.0, ANSI/SCTE 24-21 2006, and ITU-T Recommendation J.161 specifications. BV32 is a standard codec in PacketCable 2.0, ANSI/SCTE 24-23 2007, and ITU-T Recommendation J.361 specifications. The real-time transport protocol payload formats for BroadVoice16 and BroadVoice32 are specified in RFC4298.

BroadVoice16 and BroadVoice32 have very similar codec structures. Both variants share most of the algorithm modules so when implemented together, substantial code sharing and memory reduction can be achieved.

Norm Bogen, VP research, digital entertainment, In-Stat said that "Widespread deployment of HD VoIP is being inhibited by high cost. Broadband operators are looking for cost-effective ways to upgrade infrastructure and customer premises equipment to support enhanced voice services. By eliminating cost as a major constraint, the adoption of HD voice services should grow significantly, enabling service providers to significantly enhance the audio experience for their subscribers."

Dan Marotta, senior VP and general manager, Broadcom's broadband communications group noted that "We are seeing an increase in the number of requests for HD voice support from service providers who want to differentiate their telephony services from their competition. By offering high performance and highly efficient BroadVoice voice codecs royalty-free, we are enabling manufacturers and service providers to transition to HD VoIP as a means to significantly improve their customers' audio experience."

For application notes on codecs click here.

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