Voice Processing Platform supports hands-free communications.

Press Release Summary:

ZL(TM) 38005 features on-chip memory, dual-channel narrowband codecs with input/output sampling of 8 kHz, and integrated acoustic and line echo cancellers with programmable echo tail up to 256 ms and noise reduction up to 20 dB. Voice processor algorithm continuously converges and tracks changes in echo path to support full-duplex operation. Device includes ZLS38501 firmware, and is designed for speakerphones, home automation applications, and car kits.

Original Press Release:

Zarlink Simplifies Hands-Free Communication System Design with Expanded Voice Processor Portfolio

ZL(TM)38005 platform supports high-quality performance for cost- efficient hands-free systems, leading design tools speed evaluation and simplify system tuning - Zarlink voice processing products to be demonstrated with 5V Technologies at VON 2007 with (Booth#839).

OTTAWA, March 20 // -- Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE/TSX:ZL) today expanded its family of voice processing solutions with a new device enabling high-quality voice in cost-efficient hands-free communication systems, including speakerphones, home automation applications and car kits.

Available now, the ZL(TM)38005 voice processing platform integrates dual channel narrowband codecs, on-chip memory, multiple interfaces and advanced voice processing firmware. Supported by a range of design tools, the voice processor improves voice quality, minimizes background noise and reduces system complexity and cost.

With this new product, Zarlink now offers a complete portfolio of hands-free voice processing solutions. The new ZL38005 device delivers high-quality voice processing performance and is an easy-to-implement solution for mainstream hands-free communication systems. The previously introduced ZL38004 platform is an enhanced voice processor integrating advanced firmware and functionality for high-end hands-free communication systems. Zarlink also offers the lightly featured ZL38002 digital echo canceller for basic hands-free communication.

"Zarlink is building on over three decades of proven experience in telephony, digital signal and voice processing to deliver high-quality voice performance to hands-free communication applications," said Andrew Faulkner, product line director, Voice Processing, Zarlink Semiconductor. "Our voice processing portfolio offers hands-free equipment manufacturers and system designers a range of solutions with features tailored to their specific application, design and budget requirements. The programmable nature of our solutions allows system integrators to easily evolve their hands-free systems as their end customers' communication needs change."

Design Tools

Zarlink's voice processing family is supported by a range of design tools that remove system-tuning complexity, help speed design time and shorten time-to-market. Zarlink's design tools include a complete evaluation board, and a mini-evaluation board that fits directly into a speakerphone plastic enclosure to provide quick and easy performance testing. Zarlink's diagnostic tool kit supports simple "plug and test" capabilities to easily measure echo profile, frequency response and distortion. Zarlink also offers a bluetooth evaluation kit for advanced hands-free car kits.

Delivering high-quality hands-free voice

The ZL38005 hardware platform and integrated ZLS38501 firmware ensure hands-free voice quality in severe noise conditions. For example, conference phones must cope with background noise, sound reverberation due to poor plastic enclosure design and acoustic coupling between the microphone and speaker. Car kit designers must provide solutions that support high-quality voice despite severe noise conditions caused by engine, tire and wind noise.

The ZL38005 platform includes narrowband codecs with input/output sampling of 8 KHz, and integrated acoustic and line echo cancellers with programmable echo tail up to 256 ms and noise reduction up to 20 dB.

The device delivers exceptional performance is double-talk situations. Most commercial voice processing solutions fall back to half-duplex operation during double-talk, meaning voice signals pass in only one direction. During double-talk only the signal with the highest strength is transmitted. This results in a choppy and unnatural conversation.

In comparison, Zarlink's ZL38005 voice processor algorithm is able to continuously converge and track changes in the echo path to support full-duplex operation. Designed in to hands-free desktop speakerphone, for example, Zarlink's voice processing solution continuously converges, actively tracks echo and adapts to the changing echo path. Poorly designed voice processing solutions will stop tracking echo during double-talk situations. A lower-quality algorithm will readapt when double-talk ceases, creating an audible burst of echo.

Demonstrated at VON

Zarlink and 5V Technologies, a fabless developer of complete system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for a range of applications in the broadband communications market, will be demonstrating a collaborative solution for IP-based voice equipment and hands-free desktop phones at VON 2007 (March 20-22, San Jose Convention Center, Booth#839). Integrating their respective expertise in voice processing and microcontroller technologies, this joint solution ensures high-quality voice performance in IP speakerphones and reduces design time and complexity.

Availability and Support

The ZL38005 voice processing platform is available now in a 14x14 mm, 100-pin lead-free QFP package. For more, visit products.zarlink.com/product_profiles/ZL38005. Complete information on Zarlink's hands-free voice processing solutions, included detailed data sheets, is available to qualified customers. To learn how to become a qualified customer send an email to VoiceProcessing@Zarlink.com. Alternatively, contact your local sales representative.

About Zarlink Semiconductor

For over 30 years, Zarlink Semiconductor has delivered semiconductor solutions that drive the capabilities of voice, enterprise, broadband and wireless communications. The Company's success is built on its technology strengths including voice and data networks, optoelectronics and ultra low-power communications. For more information, visit www.zarlink.com.

Shareholders and other individuals wishing to receive, free of charge, copies of the reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Regulatory Authorities, should visit the Company's web site at www.zarlink.com or contact Investor Relations.
Zarlink and the Zarlink Semiconductor logo are trademarks of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.


CONTACT: Ed Goffin, Media Relations, (613) 270-7112, edward.goffin@zarlink.com

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