Ambiq offers 'Always-on-Voice' dev board

May 11, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Ambiq offers 'Always-on-Voice' dev board
Low-power microcontroller specialist Ambiq Inc. (Austin, Texas) has introduced a voice-command development kit for battery-powered end-point devices.

Known as Voice-on-SPOT (VoS) the kit is aimed at developing voice user interfaces (VUIs) at both the MCU and system levels. Ambiq's core technology is sub-threshold power optimized technology (SPOT) which allows MCUs to run at much lower voltages and power consumption.

The VoS kit is made up of a series of MikroBus boards including one for the Apollo 3 Blue Plus microcontroller, which consumes as little as 6 microamps per MHz. Another board supports a Vesper or MEMSensing microphones.

The VoS  kit integrates Ambiq's hardware and software with peripherals and third-party IP, including signal processing using DSP Concepts' Audio Weaver, Sensory's VoiceHub, and Retune's DSP VoiceSpot.

The VoS kit is particularly aimed at bringing voice and audio capabilities to battery-powered devices with Always-on-Voice (AoV) functionality, such as remote controls for TVs, gaming controllers, smart sensors, smartwatches, remote microphones, and health trackers.

"With the Ambiq VoS Kit, manufacturers finally have a complete solution to implement always-on voice command in their IoT devices while achieving up to one year battery life," said Marc Miller, the director of solutions marketing at Ambiq, in a statement.

The kit supports local application- and cloud-based service options for one or two microphones. It supports wake word/command detection and Bluetooth LE communications.

The Apollo 3 Blue VoS is available now priced at $189.99.

The next generation, the Apollo4 Blue VoS Kit, is targeted for the third quarter of 2021. It will further lower always-on power with 2 analog mic inputs, while increasing capabilities with up to 8 digital mic inputs, 120dB SNR PDM (Pulse Density Modulation) to PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) converter, 192MHz Cortex-M4F MCU. The Apollo 4 approximately halves the best current consumption to 3 microamps per MHz.

The Apollo 4 Blue VoS Kit will expand the functional repertoire with support for voice input for phone calls, translation, and audio conferencing.

Related links and articles:

www.ambiq.com

News articles:

Adaptive MEMS microphone stays asleep longer to save power

Infineon gets 'always-on' with Aspinity deal

MEMS microphone qualified for automotive


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