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TI and Acoustic Technologies Enable Full-Duplex, High Quality Audio and Enhanced Tuning Capabilities with New Hands-Free Kit Development Platform

Scalable Solution Offers Performance to Spare for Differentiating Features such as Audio Streaming and Bluetooth Functionality

Nov 29, 2005

MESA, Ariz. and HOUSTON (November 29, 2005) - Delivering high quality audio and enhanced tuning capabilities to manufacturers of hands-free cellular phone kits for automobiles, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN) and Acoustic Technologies, Inc. today unveiled the Hands-Free Kit (HFK) Development Platform. The new audio solution, which offers a complete, out-of-the-box experience for designers, features a digital signal processor (DSP)-based platform that provides flexible real-time voice and audio-enhancing algorithms - including Acoustic's patented SoundClear® audio software and RAPID-HFKTM tuning and diagnostic tool - that enable developers to get to market quickly with higher quality audio products while reducing cost. (Please visit www.ti.com/hfkpr.)
The importance of hands-free kit technology is reflected by pending legislation in more than 40 U.S. states that will make it illegal for drivers to hold cell phones while driving. This ban already exists in more than 90 percent of European countries and many others worldwide. As demand for hands-free technology continues to be spurred by this legislation as well as forward-looking manufacturers in the automotive and wireless industries, designers need to have access to easy-to-use hardware and software that allows them to quickly address the demand and provide the sound quality in hands-free audio products to which consumers have become accustomed in handsets
To that end, the HFK Development Platform, based on TI's TMS320C5407TM DSP, enables improved sound and natural sounding speech with an optimized audio processing environment. Acoustic's SoundClear software delivers a combination of patented algorithms for acoustic echo cancellation, noise cancellation, sound enhancement and full-duplex control that work together to provide dramatic improvements in sound quality and speech intelligibility. Additionally, Acoustic's RAPID-HFK tuning tool allows manufacturers to tune their designs quickly and efficiently to achieve the optimal sounding end products. By enabling software testing right out of the box, the HFK Development Platform can get those products to market quickly and at a lower system cost.
"VDO Dayton is committed to providing consumers with high-quality products. We are excited to offer SoundClear full-duplex software running on TI TMS320C5000TM DSP in our CIX 3000 Blue terminal to enable very natural sounding voice quality," said Ralf Oberländer, director of product management, navigation and multimedia at Siemens VDO. "SoundClear software enables state-of-the-art algorithms to cancel echo, reduce noise, and enhance speech, which allow us to provide best-in-class Bluetooth hands-free devices with a pleasant user experience."
The inherent programmability of the DSP-based technology in the HFK Development Platform gives customers a scalable solution that fits a wide range of end-product needs. By using the HFK demo platform, developers can move easily to any of the code-compatible DSPs from the TMS320C5000 DSP platform to suit their specific needs and create the optimal audio processing environment. The C5000TM platform includes a broad portfolio of more than 20 devices that offer leading-edge combinations of power-efficient performance, peripheral options, and small packaging.
In addition to sound quality, the new HFK Development Platform with SoundClear software also offers unmatched quality from a functional perspective. Using less processing power and memory, the platform gives designers access to an abundance of performance headroom, allowing them to add features like audio streaming (MP3, AAC, WMA), Bluetooth functionality, speech recognition, phone book download and more, thus allowing them to differentiate their products. These functions can be easily integrated by utilizing TI's extensive network of third-party developers.
"Integrating SoundClear into TI's HFK Development Platform allows customers to easily tune audio for the best sounding end product using our RAPID tool," said Greg Eslinger, vice president of engineering, Acoustic Technologies, Inc. "SoundClear software raises the quality standard for hands-free operation in today's hands-free devices by providing full-duplex speakerphone capabilities that enhance the overall user experience."

The HFK Development Platform includes: 

  • TMS320C5407 DSP motherboard 
  • SoundClear Acoustic Echo Cancellation and Noise Reduction software from Acoustic Technologies
  • RAPID-HFK Tuning Tool from Acoustic Technologies 
  • Code Composer Studio™ Integrated Development Environment (IDE) library examples and a 120-day trial version of Code Composer Studio development tools 
  • Line out, on-board microphone 
  • 0.5mm microphone jack 
  • JTAG connector 
  • User programmable interface (3 LEDs, 3 push buttons) 
  • Expansion peripheral connector

Pricing and Availability

Available at the end of the fourth quarter in 2005, through TI authorized distributors and the TI E-store, the HFK Development Platform (TDMSHFK5407) is priced at $495 (USD). For more information, visit www.ti.com/hfkpr.