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Bluetooth chips push headset performance

Posted: 30 Oct 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth  noise reduction feature  mobile communications 

Broadcom Corp. brings to market a new family of Bluetooth headset solutions. The 65nm CMOS SoCs deliver a power savings platform and premium audio quality plus user interface enhancements and unrivalled power performance and talk time.

The Broadcom BCM2074x family of Bluetooth headset SoC solutions builds upon the benefits of the previous generation BCM2044 and BCM2044S devices which are being used in current headsets. The new BCM2074x family adds features such as new wind noise reduction algorithms, multi-language 'voice prompt' technology and integrated fast-charging power innovations that enable headsets to charge five times faster than existing products. These advancements are delivered in an architecture that allows consumers to pay less for better quality and higher performing headsets.

"We have leveraged our leadership in the Bluetooth market to integrate superior audio quality and ease of use. This new family of chips extends our technology leadership with the industry's lowest power consumption that is convenient to the end-user and friendly to the environment," said Craig Ochikubo, VP and general manager of Broadcom's wireless personal area networking line of business. "This level of feature integration is optimised by the use of 65nm technology, providing more value, features and capabilities to consumers than devices using older, less efficient technologies."

"Consumers are sold on the concept of Bluetooth headsets, but usability and sound quality must improve in order for them to become a ubiquitous part of mobile communications," said Emma Naudo, wireless analyst from IMS Research. "By focusing on ways to improve the consumers' headset experience, companies like Broadcom are helping to dispel the myths about Bluetooth headsets and enable the market to reach its full potential."

Broadcom's SmartAudio technology has been a key driver of the company's growth in the Bluetooth headset market. With the new BCM2074x family, Broadcom adds enhanced noise suppression capabilities that can reduce background noise by nearly 40 per cent when compared with existing noise cancellation techniques. The SmartAudio upgrades include dynamic wind noise suppression and near-end speech enhancement algorithms such as dynamic compression and spectral shaping that overcome the most challenging and annoying audio interferers.

Wind noise is a particularly challenging issue frequently complained about. Regular noise reduction techniques have little effect on wind noise because its characteristics are very different from babble, car and other types of noise. The signal contamination caused by wind becomes spectrally indistinguishable from speech at higher wind speeds making it difficult to filter out. The BCM2074x family combats this interference by utilising innovative algorithmic techniques in both single and dual microphone configurations to identify and detect wind in real-time and then applies high-speed suppression to deliver a clearer, more enjoyable audio experience.

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