DSP has extended battery life and improved user experience for next-gen devices

03-11-2021 | Cadence | Semiconductors

Cadence Design Systems now offers the Cadence Tensilica HiFi 1 DSP, which enhances the user experience by providing breakthrough audio/voice innovation for small battery devices, including TWS earbuds, hearing aids, Bluetooth headsets, smartwatches and other wearables. The DSP’s ultra-low energy consumption increases the duration of voice communication and music playback, providing always listening to voice commands with minimum impact to battery life. This facilitates small form factor, low-cost consumer and mobile devices, and automotive and industrial devices to allow increased functionality with low energy consumption.


“The Low Complexity Communication Codecs (LC3 and LC3plus) co-invented by Fraunhofer help minimise energy consumption for battery-constrained Bluetooth devices. Fraunhofer and Cadence have a long history partnering on various codecs, including LC3/LC3plus, which Cadence has optimised on its Tensilica HiFi DSPs,” said Manfred Lutzky, head of Audio for Communications department at Fraunhofer IIS. “We’re pleased to see them building upon that experience with the new HiFi 1 DSP that is energy- and cycle-optimized for LC3 and LC3plus. The HiFi 1 DSP embodies the codec’s unprecedented ultra-low energy levels, which should bring relief to small battery hearable and wearable devices with added features and help accelerate the widespread adoption of LC3 and LC3plus.”


The DSP offers ultra-low-energy encoding and playback of LC3 and other Bluetooth codecs and ultra-low-energy keyword spotting for voice wake-up, all in a small footprint.






“The HiFi 1 DSP from Cadence significantly lowers the energy required to run the always-on class of AI applications, such as the TensorFlow Lite Micro networks, speech wake word and person detect, enabling battery-constrained devices to run for longer lengths of time,” said Pete Warden, technical lead of TFLM at Google. “Cadence and Google have long collaborated on TFLM, and we are excited to continue the collaboration as Cadence pushes the boundaries of energy and performance further.”


“Intelligent context-aware, always-on processing is becoming key for next-generation hearables to offer users a better auditory experience with greater utility and convenience,” said Mike Demler, senior analyst at The Linley Group. “A blend of machine learning and traditional DSP algorithms is pervading these applications, yet battery life and form factor cannot be compromised. Cadence has established a strong leadership position with its widely adopted and supported Tensilica HiFi DSPs for audio, voice and speech applications. The new HiFi 1 DSP goes a step further by enabling these emerging target applications in a compact design – deftly melding AI, codec and DSP performance at ultra-low energy levels for energy-conscious designs.”


“HiFi DSPs enjoy wide adoption in current-generation TWS earbuds and Bluetooth headsets,” said David Glasco, vice president of research and development for Tensilica IP at Cadence. “The advent of LC3 and wider market trends set the stage for next-generation hearables to offer a superior user experience and longer battery life. With many speech and voice algorithms migrating towards AI, we’re also seeing vastly expanding use cases for analytics and better sound quality in TWS earbuds. The compact HiFi 1 DSP enables these new use cases with ultra-low energy consumption, bringing to the mass market always-on and always-listening capabilities that were until now the privilege of premium products.”

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