Conexant Launches World's First Family of Speakers-on-a-Chip Semiconductor Solutions

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—May 19, 2008— Conexant Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNXT) today announced the availability of the worlds first family of speakers-on-a-chip (SPoC) solutions. The CX20562 integrates key speaker technology and processing functionality into a single device, and is targeted at products that support high-definition audio and voice applications. These include emerging PC sound systems that integrate the functionality of audio speakers and echo-free speakerphones into a single all-in-one peripheral, speakers, LCD multimedia monitors, iPod/MP3 docking systems, notebook docking stations, and voice-over-IP (VoIP) peripherals such as speakerphones. The single-chip SPoC solution also supports value-added consumer features such as Instant Messaging (IM) hotkey launch capabilities, music-on-hold, microphone mute, and noise reduction for private chat.

We are leveraging our industry-leading market positions and technical expertise to deliver innovative new solutions for growth opportunities in PC audio and video applications, said Bernd Lienhard, senior vice president and general manager of Conexants Imaging and PC Media business. Our first-of-its-kind audio solution is representative of the new products we are developing in order to expand into new, high-volume consumer markets.

The increased availability of downloadable music and entertainment, and growing popularity of VoIP for business and personal communications, has sparked demand from consumers for higher quality, cost-effective audio, said Will Strauss, president of market research firm Forward Concepts. Conexants new speakers-on-a-chip family provides the foundation for more cost-effective VoIP full-duplex speakerphones, and also enables PCs to support high-quality audio entertainment and Skype communication speakerphone capabilities.

The single-chip CX20562 integrates the functionality of a digital audio/voice processor, audio codec, and Class-D amplifier into a single, cost-effective package. Key features include advanced sound processing, echo-cancellation, and noise-reduction technology to enable superior audio quality. In addition, the SPoC solutions have an integrated universal serial bus (USB) interface that allows manufacturers to develop plug-and-play products that are PC and Mac compatible, and an auxiliary analog input that enables connections to a wide range of audio peripherals.

Conexant has leveraged its long history in voice processing and coding, and extensive IP portfolio, to deliver technical innovations that dramatically improve audio quality. Technical advancements featured in the CX20562 include:

  • BrightSound: A Conexant-developed sound processing algorithm that uses dynamic range compression and equalization to brighten audio quality when source sound levels are low. BrightSound reduces speaker clipping, which occurs when volume is turned up and the power required to generate the louder signal is beyond a level the speaker can support. When this happens, the sound signal is cut-off, or clipped, and audio quality is distorted. In addition, the excessive power clipping can cause damage to the speaker transducer. BrightSound also has a night mode capability that attenuates the loud background sound signals (e.g. sirens or the sound of an explosion), but elevates the sound of a persons voice. This allows consumers to clearly hear the vocal track when watching a movie or playing a video game without increasing the volume and disturbing others.
  • Wideband Echo-cancellation: An advanced wideband acoustic echo-cancellation digital signal processor (DSP) captures a broader range of voice signals resulting in more natural sounding speech. Speaker-to-microphone echo is also reduced, which is a common problem that affects PC VoIP and IM applications. Currently, consumers are often encouraged to use headphones or a headset to solve this issue. The CX20562 significantly diminishes feedback, allowing consumers to have untethered and consistently high-quality, echo-free voice conversations.
  • Noise Reduction: A high-performance DSP array microphone blocks out background noise to improve audio quality. Conexants unique beam-forming technology is used to combine signals from multiple microphones into a single beam that is focused on a person making a VoIP call. Narrowing the microphone pick-up radius helps eliminate background noise, and improves the quality of VoIP calls.

The CX20562 is USB Audio Class Compliant and supports basic audio interfaces including auxiliary input, headphone jack, internal microphone input, digital/analog volume control, speaker mute, and microphone mute. Optional features include support for an additional 20-key keypad and an LCD display controller interface.


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