Voice chips enable hands-free communication

Ottawa, Canada — Zarlink Semiconductor unveiled voice processing chips aimed at improving voice quality and reducing noise in hands-free communication devices.

The ZL38002 uses an advanced adaptive algorithm that constantly tracks and reduces background noise while preserving high voice quality. Voice signals are transmitted in both directions, allowing natural two-way conversation, even when signal levels are low. The ZL38002 chip utilizes an advanced non-linear process design supporting full-duplex speech with no switched loss of the signal path. Zarlink's algorithm design operates during double-talk situations when both callers are speaking at the same time.

Hands-free system microphones also pick up background noise, such as an
accelerating car engine and tire noise, which further degrades voice quality.
Zarlink's acoustic echo canceller technology is specifically designed to deliver
exceptional performance in high background noise environments.

Programmable noise reduction allows the user to adjust the noise cancellation
level to meet system requirements without distorting the audio signal. The
ZL38002 acoustic echo canceller integrates other advanced features to ensure
high sound quality, including anti-howling detection that identifies instability
in the audio path and automatically takes preventative measures to avoid

“Poor voice quality has plagued hands-free communication in cars,
meeting rooms and other locations where background noise and echo degrade
speech,” said Andre Coucopoulos, marketing manager, Voice Processing, Zarlink
Semiconductor. “Optimized for hands-free communications, the ZL38002 voice
processing chip builds on a proven algorithm deployed in telecom applications
where voice quality is an absolute requirement to ensure a natural sounding
conversation in high-noise situations.”

See related block diagram

The ZL38002 device is now available in a 36-pin QSOP and 48-pin TQFP measuring 7mm x 7mm. Lead-free package options are also available. The chip is fully supported by an evaluation board, hands-free car kit application board and API software.

In quantities of 1,000, the device is priced at $5.50. Click here for the ZL38002 data sheet.

Zarlink , 1-613-592-0200,

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