STMicroelectronics and Soundchip Team to Revolutionize Sound Experience in the Ear
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Press release date: May 22, 2012
Changing solution for personal audio combines unmatched sound performance with exciting new capabilities
New York - STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a leading supplier of high-performance audio ICs, together with Soundchip SA, a Swiss-based innovator in audio-systems technology and originator of the High Definition Personal-Audio(TM) (HD-PAź) Reference, today introduced technologies and components for the smart audio accessory - an exciting new concept in personal listening.
Worn like a pair of In-Ear Monitors (IEMs), the smart audio accessory features new means of controlling and personalizing the sound experience. Designed to be worn at all times, the smart audio accessory supports all use modes, including music, telephony and direct conversation, without requiring any reconfiguration of the apparatus in the ear. Furthermore, the smart audio accessory maintains a faithful reproduction of sound while providing a robust shield against unwanted background noise.
The smart audio accessory employs Soundchip's patented sound-processing technologies to provide a natural and comfortable sound experience when speaking, even with the accessory in place and physically sealing the ear. By electro-acoustically "opening" this seal, the smart audio accessory is able to pass ambient sound directly to the wearer, providing an ability to listen and converse naturally with the accessory still in place.
The smart audio accessory provides the ability to conveniently switch between different audio sources - voice, music or ambient sound - by simply pressing a button, making a pre-defined gesture or issuing a voice command. Various options are supported, including those that leverage ST's recognized leadership in MEMS motion sensors.
In addition, by connecting the smart audio accessory to a DSP or DSP-capable controller (such as the STM32 F4), and a smartphone or tablet computer, the sound experience can be further enhanced by taking advantage of custom-made apps, which individually process and mix sound sources to deliver innovative new features, such as augmented reality.
Comprising Soundchip's patented HD-PAź Ready Electronic and Acoustic platforms combined with STMicroelectronics' best-in-class HD-PAź Ready MEMS microphones, the smart audio accessory represents an exciting fusion of electronics, MEMS sensing technology and acoustics and provides a compelling example of the future of personal audio.
Mark Donaldson, Soundchip CEO, said, "The smart audio accessory combines the very best of Soundchip's unique audio-system technology for sound at the ear. We believe that the smart audio accessory represents a game changing solution that offers the users of smartphones, tablet computers and gaming devices a level of sound experience only dreamed of until now."
"As a global leader in the design and high-volume manufacturing of integrated circuits and MEMS, ST's collaboration with Soundchip aims to provide customers with the solutions they need to pioneer the audio products of the future," said Andrea Onetti, Audio and Sound Business Unit Leader at STMicroelectronics. "The smart audio accessory represents an exciting step forward made possible by the uncompromised quality and performance of our MEMS microphones combined with our expertise and experience in audio silicon design."
Soundchip and ST will be presenting examples of the smart audio accessory concept to customers throughout June.
From its base in Switzerland Soundchip offers global customers access to a broad range of solutions in audio systems technology for sound at the ear. The company is the originator of the HD-PA Reference and is committed to providing customers with solutions that demonstrate the superior qualities of high definition sound in products designed for mobility and convenience. Soundchip licenses its solutions to leading brands involved in the design and manufacture of audio codecs, processors, sound transducers, multimedia systems and consumer products. Soundchip and HD-PA are registered trademarks of Soundchip SA. All rights reserved. Further information on Soundchip can be found at www.soundchip.ch.
PHOTOS: Available from Soundchip at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/532797/Photos/SmartAudioAccessory.zip
ST is a global leader in the semiconductor market serving customers across the spectrum of sense and power technologies and multimedia convergence applications. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a positive and innovative contribution to people's life. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.
In 2011, the Company's net revenues were $9.73 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
Consumers are adopting mobile entertainment, communications and gaming devices in ever increasing numbers with each new generation of device offering substantially improved power and performance. An aspect of end product that has remained relatively unchallenged during this period of growth is audio and in particular personal audio or audio delivered at the ear. As consumers search for a better sound experience on-the-go, an opportunity has emerged to demonstrate leadership in audio systems engineering and electroacoustics through intelligent innovation.
The High Definition Personal Audio(TM) reference has been developed to encourage a step change in the performance and capabilities of personal audio devices. This change is achieved by applying innovative audio system technologies in concert with state-of-the-art processing and sensory silicon, including MEMS. Devices that comply with the HD-PAź reference meet an ambitious standard of performance and offer their users enhanced sound quality, comfort and convenience in a manner that is resilient to environmental factors, including noise.
CEO, Soundchip SA