Knowles Releases AI-Enabled TWS Development Kit with Premium Features
ITASCA, Ill., August 5, 2021 — Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN), a market leader and global provider of advanced micro-acoustic microphones and speakers, audio processing, and precision device solutions, today announces the availability of its AI-enabled True Wireless Stereo (TWS) Development Platform to accelerate the product development process, from entry-level to premium applications. With this new solution, OEMs gain access to a fully operational TWS development kit, which includes pre-tuned and pre-configured earbuds designed by Knowles paired with a powerful Bluetooth®-enabled processing platform. The earbuds come designed with Knowles SiSonicTM MEMS Microphone Arrays, voice vibration sensors, and a choice of premium speaker driver assemblies with Knowles Balanced Armatures to drive the development of advanced TWS features while reducing time-to-market and lowering the high costs associated with ground-up development. Knowles has engaged multiple partners to integrate premium features on this development kit, which enable manufacturers to quickly add Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), ambient mode, high definition (HD) audio, voice command, voice call algorithms, and AI-enabled conversation enhancement.
“The market for TWS is expected to grow rapidly, driven by strong demand across all price segments. Premium brands will continue to add emerging advanced features to their new TWS devices to create product differentiation and capture more value,” says Raj Senguttuvan, Director of Strategic Marketing at Knowles. “Bringing our flexible and powerful TWS development platform to manufacturers will help innovators in the TWS market deliver emerging advanced features, built with premium Knowles technologies, to consumers faster.”
The processing platform is at the core of this TWS development kit, with Knowles IA8201 AISonic™ audio edge processor and Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation’s CXD 3781 Codec paired with a premium Bluetooth Audio System on Chip (SoC) to allow for immersive experiences and noise filtering. With high ANC and transparency performance, the design offers a competitive platform for development. The Knowles IA8201 AISonic audio edge processor is optimized for advanced voice and audio processing. This robust development platform is flexible, allowing manufacturers to test their own configurations with detachable earbuds, integrate advanced features, and tune for performance and power consumption.
The Knowles earbuds come designed with Knowles high performance Everest (SPH0690LM4H-1) digital microphones for high-quality audio capture. Everest digital microphones are built in a compact form factor to allow for flexible integration in highly space-constrained devices like TWS headsets. It provides high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and acoustic overload point (AOP) combined with excellent wideband audio for studio grade performance and high-quality ANC. For HD audio output, the earbuds are designed with a hybrid driver that includes a Knowles balanced armature tweeter and a dynamic woofer. Another version comes with Knowles’ smallest full-range balanced armature driver targeting discreet form factor TWS devices.
To meet rising demands for voice quality and intelligibility, Knowles has partnered with Alango Technologies, a leading voice, hearing, and audio DSP solutions provider. Alango’s Voice Communication Package (VCP) with multi-microphone beamforming, and its OnlyVoice technology, which intelligently combines external beamforming with internal sensor-based voice processing, are both ported to the IA8201 processor. With low power consumption and memory requirements, these highly optimized solutions enable premium voice pickup for TWS devices.
Also included in the TWS kit is AITransparency+ from Chatable – the first AI specifically designed to exploit the next-generation AI processing capabilities of the IA8201 AISonic processor for “Conversation Enhancement.” AITransparency+ provides “Conversation Enhancement” and features advanced, on-chip, proprietary Deep Neural Network architectures performing over one hundred million AI calculations per second to enable selective acoustic enhancement of conversational speech signals without perceptible latency.
The TWS development kit is scalable, rich, and open to customization, allowing customers to leverage pre-tuned algorithms from Knowles’ partners or quickly tune their own algorithms for other use cases. The open, flexible nature of this kit supports existing and emerging TWS premium features and next generation applications, leveraging best-in-class audio and hearing technologies with flexibility for future innovation.
The TWS development platform is now available to TWS manufacturers. Please contact Knowles for development support. More information is available here.
To learn more, please visit Knowles.com.