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Wolfson gets active with ambient noise cancellation

LONDON — Wolfson Microelectronics (Edinburgh, Scotland) has started sampling to several handset designers its active noise cancellation chip that was designed specifically for mobile phone applications and is based on technology that came through the acquisition last year of Sonaptic Ltd. (High Wycombe, England).

Handsets that deploy the technology are expected to be available during next year.

Complementary to existing transmit path noise cancellation, the noise-canceling technology focuses on the receive path and uses active anti-noise to cancel background sound at the handset speaker. It operates up to frequencies around 3-kHz, and can operate with open backed headphones and ear-bud style earphones.

According to Wolfson, until recently handset manufacturers have been able to reduce noise in the transmit path only, so that background noise is not transmitted to the other party in the call. However they have been unable to do anything about the ambient noise levels near the listener's ear.

“We acquired Sonaptic less than a year ago as part of our growth strategy to add to the range of Wolfson AudioPlus products. As a result of the acquisition we diversified our technology portfolio, expanded our total addressable market and are now enabling more enhanced user experiences,” said Dave Shrigley, CEO at Wolfson.

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