05 July 2017
Qualcomm at its voice and music developer conference in Shenzhen, China introduced a new Smart speaker platform to help the manufacturers accelerate the development of their smart speakers. Apple recently gave us a glimpse of HomePod, Google Home, and Amazon Echo are already leading the market and now LG also seems to be planning to release its own AI assistant that may eventually be embedded into the smart speaker as well. So, looking at such an extreme growth, Qualcomm makes a common platform to cater the voice and music technicalities of these smart speakers.
Qualcomm’s new platform is flexible and it offers two SoC options based on APQ8009 and APQ8017. These SoCs come with a range of software configurations that are designed to allow OEMs to create truly optimized smart speakers. The platform brings in together processing capability, connectivity options, voice user interfaces, and premium audio technologies to help meet increasing consumers’ demands for highly intuitive smart speakers.
The voice solution will deliver advanced multi-mic far-field capability with highly responsive voice activation and beamforming technologies. The voice software in this platform also takes care of echo cancellation, noise suppression.
At the same conference, Qualcomm also launched a couple of audio products, including new audio chips. The company announced new high-end flash chip named CSRA68100 for wireless speakers and headphones.
Qualcomm also launched a range of Bluetooth chips that belong to QCC3XXX family for low and mid-tier devices. For wired connections, Qualcomm launched WHS9420 and WHS9410 chipsets that will work on USB Type-C enabled devices. The CSRA68100 chip and QCC3XXX family chips are enabled with Bluetooth 5.0. The CSRA68100 chips also support aptX codec from Qualcomm and able to deliver the same sound quality even if the user is using a supported product based on older Bluetooth version.
The DSP capabilities are four times better than the predecessor CSR8675 chip. other features include NFC support, capacitive touch controller, and inbuilt power management features.
The QCC3XXX is an entry-level chip and will deliver its feature on low priced devices.
Qualcomm also brought new Smart Audio Platform that is based on Snapdragon 425 and Snapdragon 212 and also supports Linux and Android. This platform will provide stellar audio experience as it’s equipped with Hexagon DSP capabilities. It supports numerous apps, voice recognition, 32-bit 192 KHz audio streaming, VoIP, digital assistants and biometric recognition through voice. It also supports 24-bit aptX HD wireless audio, noise cancellation, and AllPlay speaker.
Qualcomm’s latest smart speaker platform will support Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) and support the Google Assistant later this year. Also, the support for the Android things along with Google Cast for Audio will come in the same time frame.