Zarlink Introduces New Tools to Simplify Design of Hands-Free Voice Communication Systems

OTTAWA, May 30 / - Zarlink Semiconductor introduced a range of tools that simplify the design of hands-free communication systems, including car kits, speakerphones and home automation systems. Complementing Zarlink's platform of hands-free voice processing solutions, these design tools include a full evaluation board, mini-evaluation board and a "plug and test" diagnostic kit.

"These new design tools remove voice processing 'black magic' that has hindered some hands-free system manufacturers," said Andre Coucopoulos, marketing manager for Zarlink's hands-free voice processing products. "These new tools help manufacturers quickly evaluate the voice performance of their hands-free system, reduce tuning complexity, speed design time and shorten time-to-market."

Zarlink's hands-free voice processing evaluation board provides interfaces to connect to PSTN line, cellphone, PC audio port, handset and speaker drivers. The evaluation board is controlled by an easy-to-use GUI (graphic user interface). Zarlink software can be directly interfaced to the customer's own platform.

Mini-evaluation kit smaller than business card

The plastic ensclosure design of a hands-free communication system can play a significant role in voice performance. For example, a speakerphone plastic enclosure may inadvertently heighten echo and create distortion. Zarlink's mini-evaluation board is smaller than a business card, and fits directly into most plastic enclosures. Manufacturers can quickly evaluate the performance of Zarlink's hands-free voice processing solution in their existing plastic design.

Zarlink also offers the ZLE38000 "plug and test" diagnostic tool kit and software to measure key performance parameters, including echo profile, frequency response, signal level, and total harmonic distortion. The diagnostic tool kit and software provides manufacturers with a real-time evaluation of voice processing performance. For example, the tool kit measures echo return loss and echo return level for the acoustic echo and line echo cancellers. The kit can measure noise level in all signal paths, along with residual echo level and returned echo level. The diagnostic tool kit allows manufacturers to fine-tune performance to ensure voice quality.

Availability and support

Zarlink's suite of design tools supports the company's portfolio of hands-free voice processing solutions. The ZL38004 platform is an enhanced voice processor integrating advanced firmware and functionality for high-end hands-free communication systems. The ZL38005 device delivers high-quality voice processing performance and is an easy-to-implement solution for mainstream hands-free communication systems. Zarlink also offers the lightly featured ZL38002 digital echo canceller for basic hands-free communication.

Complete information on Zarlink's hands-free voice processing solutions, including reference designs and detailed data sheets, is available to qualified customers. To learn how to become a qualified customer send an email to 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


CONTACT: Ed Goffin, Media Relations, (613) 270-7112,

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