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Audio processor incorporates MEMS microphones

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:audio processor? MEMS microphone? mobile phone? tablet?

STMicroelectronics N.V. has uncloaked a digital audio processor geared for applications such as mobile phones, tablets, gaming devices and video security systems. ST's Smart Voice product lineup unleashes the powerful capabilities of digital MEMS microphones in multimicrophone arrays, especially for ST's MEMS microphones, the company stated.

The audio processors enable features including acoustic echo cancellation, noise suppression, or beam-forming that prove to be important with the increasing use of cellphones and other consumer devices in noisy and uncontrollable environments. Multimicrophone systems also address next-generation audio applications such as 3D sound processing, sound-source localization, virtual microphones and audio zooming.


Smart Voice devices integrate an acoustic processing core with a tunable 10-band equalizer.

The combination of ST's Smart Voice processors and digital MEMS microphones creates a powerful and flexible acoustic subsystem that brings crucial advantages to equipment manufacturers and users alike, noted the company. Manufacturers will benefit from a simplified system design, which claims to reduce cost and time to market and facilitates end-product differentiation, while consumers will enjoy clearer conversations and longer battery life on their devices, continued ST.

ST's digital audio processor is based on an optimized hard-wired acoustic processing engine that offloads intensive computing tasks from the main application processor. It handles up to six digital microphone inputs with dynamic array reconfiguration and dedicated channel processing. The device integrates a scalable acoustic processing core with a tunable 10-band equalizer, a peak limiter and gain and volume controls. The data are output through a digital (I2S) or analog (PWM) interface.

The Smart Voice processors come in a bundle with the programming tool AP Workbench and together with the company's MEMS microphones and Sound Terminal class-D audio amplifiers. The STA321MPL, the first device in ST's Smart Voice family, is sampling now. Mass production is scheduled for 2Q12, with unit pricing at $4 for volumes in the range of 1,000 pieces.

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