New platform supports LE Audio specification for high-quality wireless audio

09-01-2020 | Nordic | New Technologies

Nordic Semiconductor has launched an LE Audio Evaluation Platform in partnership with San Diego, CA-based Bluetooth LE stack developer, Packetcraft. The solution promotes the benefits of LE Audio and is created to support the new LE Audio specifications that are expected to be released by the Bluetooth SIG during the first six months of 2020.

Current Bluetooth wireless audio solutions use classic Bluetooth technology, but LE Audio offers a new high-quality wireless audio solution based on Bluetooth LE radios. The new solutions promise lower power consumption than classic Bluetooth audio, extending battery life, bringing greater audio quality and facilitates the development of devices capable of wireless data transfer and audio streaming. The technology supports broadcast for audio sharing as well.

The company's LE Audio solution incorporates a hardware reference design based on the company's nRF52832 Bluetooth LE SoC, Cirrus Logic's CS47L35 smart codec with an integrated low power Audio DSP, Packetcraft's Bluetooth LE host stack and link-layer supporting LE Audio, and an LE Audio SDK. The platform enables developers to start assessing the technology for such Bluetooth LE Audio products as wireless speakers, over-the-ear headphones, and true wireless 'ear buds'.

"Classic Bluetooth audio provides a satisfactory wireless sound solution, but LE Audio offers significant enhancements. It is destined to be an exciting new sector, and Nordic plans to play a key role through the supply of leading LE Audio solutions," says Kjetil Holstad, director of Product Management at Nordic Semiconductor. "The launch of the LE Audio evaluation platform is the first step in this journey."

"Nordic's class-leading nRF52 Series SoC is an ideal wireless foundation for an LE Audio solution. By featuring Cirrus Logic's CS47L35 smart codec, we are ensuring the platform also meets the highest possible audio performance criteria."

"The Bluetooth community continues to drive the technology forward to meet evolving market needs and create new opportunities," says Mark Powell, CEO of Bluetooth SIG. "LE Audio is a prime example. Not only will it enhance the performance of existing Bluetooth audio products, it introduces Audio Sharing, a new audio use case poised to transform the way we experience audio and connect with the world around us."

"We are excited to partner with Nordic Semiconductor on its innovative LE Audio Evaluation Platform. The platform has enabled Packetcraft to develop one of the world's first demonstrations of audio sharing via LE Audio broadcast," says John Yi, founder and CEO of Packetcraft. "Packetcraft is dedicated to providing leading-edge Bluetooth technology and delivering new specification features like LE Audio early to our customers."

By Natasha Shek