Simplifying system design of hands-free cellular phone kits for automobiles, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced the availability of a complete Hands Free Kit (HFK) Reference Design for use with the new TMS320C54HFK digital signal processor (DSP).
This complete small form factor reference design from Lyrtech provides original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) all the necessary hardware and software for creating unique Bluetooth and audio streaming-enabled, high-quality cell phone HFK Reference Designs for the automobile aftermarket by providing the flexibility to add additional proprietary or off-the-shelf algorithms to fit individual product needs. Featuring a TI DSP-based platform, the new reference design eliminates the need to further design any core hardware or car audio software modules, thus saving OEMs cost and up to nine months in development time.
Spurred by bans on holding a cellular phone while driving in multiple U.S. states, European nations and other countries worldwide, HFK technology is not only a growing necessity for drivers, but also for developers that need to meet this demand by providing sound quality products that meet specific consumer expectations. As a result, it is increasingly important to have integrated platforms in order to keep from reinventing fundamental technology.
The TI HFK Reference Design is a full system solution including hardware, schematics and Gerber files, freeing customers from the burden of hardware and software development of the reference design, part selection validation and testing. Instead, they can concentrate their efforts into customizing specific features on their higher quality audio products while saving at least 40 weeks in development time and cost.
“Sufficient on-chip memory and processing horsepower are extremely important features to have in DSPs in HFK Reference Designs,” said Greg Eslinger, vice president of engineering at Acoustic Technologies. “The new TI TMS320C54HFK DSP is optimized for HFK Reference Design products and offers optimal performance and more on-chip memory than options from other manufacturers. This allows our SoundClear(R) software to deliver a crisp, clear, higher-quality user experience by removing echoes, performing noise cancellation and enhancing the audio.”
Optimal Combination of Audio Quality, Voice Clarity and Extended Features
The HFK Reference Design is based on TI’s audio optimized TMS320C54x(TM) DSP, which gives designers an effective way of achieving the high-performance, low-power operation and low system cost ideal for audio specific applications. Combined with expertise from an array of TI DSP Third Party Network members, designers now have access to easy-to-use hardware and software to help deliver improved sound quality hand-held devices with the reference design. The design leverages Acoustic Technologies’ key software algorithms for echo cancellation, noise reduction and enhanced speech to achieve clear, crisp audio allowing engineers to build best-in-class hands free devices that deliver the best user experience.
Satisfying the growing need and trend for Bluetooth-enabled hand-held devices, TI utilizes Bluetooth technology from Adamya Computing Technologies, a leading third party with a track record of providing quality support to TI customers, to deliver Bluetooth communication software allowing simultaneous audio and data streaming. By integrating Bluetooth, this makes it possible to use the HFK Reference Design with any Bluetooth enabled phone regardless of phone manufacturer. Bluetooth and audio streaming have removed the cradle, making it unnecessary to upgrade the kit for new or additional phones, thus simplifying systems and providing customers with more consistent use across products. Lyrtech provides additional flexibility by providing a complete packaged solution and technical support based on its experience in designing advanced DSP development solutions. Moreover, having joint system design engineering and manufacturing capabilities to quickly support customers looking to go in production will greatly help reducing time-to-production and time-to-market for OEMs. The result of this joint collaboration is a system that can be used as-is or differentiated through the addition of customized software features or the OEM’s own proprietary software.
Complete Solution Reduces Development Cycle Time and Provides Customizable Features
While the Bluetooth software, noise reduction and echo cancellation are standard, additional software is available to customize the design, such as phone book download functionality and speech recognition, to create an ideal user experience. A Bluetooth A2DP profile for audio streaming allows the driver to play MP3 music via the phone through the headset or car speakers and also lets them connect to a laptop PC or other Bluetooth-enabled audio systems. Another helpful feature includes automatic car stereo music muting when receiving incoming phone calls.
“The HFK Reference Design puts OEMs a step ahead in the development of cellular car kits,” said John Dixon, worldwide low power DSP product marketing manager, Texas Instruments. “With proven technology from experienced DSP third parties, plus TI’s leadership in the Hands Free Car Kit DSP market, OEMs can now quickly and easily build quality cellular phone HFKs for the auto aftermarket.”
The HFK Reference Design is an evolution from TI’s HFK Development Platform, which provides OEMs with the necessary software and tools for designing their own C54HFK DSP-based HFK products. In addition to TI’s Code Composer Studio(TM) Integrated Development Environment (IDE) library examples and a trial version of Code Composer Studio tools, the HFK Development Platform includes Acoustic Technologies’ SoundClear(R) software, which 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 Technologies’ RAPID-HFK(TM) tuning tool allows manufacturers to tune their designs quickly and efficiently.
Numerous TI analog and logic components help complete the HFK Reference Design. For example, the BTR6300 provides very low-power Bluetooth 1.1, 1.2, 2.0 specification-compliant connectivity and supports enhanced data rates of 2 and 3 Mbps. The TLV320AIC31 low-power stereo audio Codec enables excellent audio quality (100-dB signal-to-noise ratio), and the audio/control interface works seamlessly with the TMS320C54HFK DSP.
Pricing and Availability
The HFK Reference Design is available for $495 through Lyrtech, with order entry beginning in December 2006. To order, please go online.
About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers’ real world signal processing requirements. In addition to Semiconductor, the company includes the Educational & Productivity Solutions business. TI is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries. Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN.
TMS320C54x(TM) and Code Composer Studio(TM) are trademarks of Texas Instruments.