One of the best parts of going to CES every year is seeing all the new devices and demos. Most people only know Cadence as a tools company, but it has a lot of differentiating intellectual property, including intellectual property from Tensilica.
I had the pleasure of being invited to a private Cadence suite at this year’s CES 2023 and got to see first-hand its new Tensilica branded DSP solution featuring next-generation technology for the automotive entertainment industry and True Wireless Stereo (TWS) space.
Let’s take a look at what Cadence has announced and how it seeks to transform the in-car entertainment industry and the TWS space with its next generation HiFi 5 DSP.
Cadence Tensilica HiFi DSP Now Supports Dolby Atmos
Cadence announced that its Tensilica HiFi DSP now supports Dolby Atmos for cars—the first DSP to do so and a huge win for in-car entertainment systems. This is a huge win, because with new automotive technology, in-car entertainment systems can enable an immersive experience without creating an unsafe vehicle experience. Recently, in-vehicle information and entertainment systems have changed with the rise, development and availability of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) platforms. In the past, in-car entertainment was limited to passengers, with the exception of audio-only entertainment such as music and podcasts for drivers. This is to ensure vehicle safety, as the driver’s attention will not be distracted by the entertainment system.
However, with ADAS and AD platforms, safety and entertainment are less mutually exclusive. For example, 5G connectivity in vehicles enables over-the-air updates for safer maps and safety features, while it also enables entertainment streaming of video games and videos.
Cadence has moved to offer HiFi DSP for Dolby Atmos in automotive environments because Dolby Atmos provides a immersive The listener’s audio experience. Immersive audio makes a big difference if we consider the driver’s interaction with the entertainment system and the car’s surroundings. The cutting-edge technology in these new systems is capable of delivering incredible quality immersive audio, but it’s also smart enough to know when to interrupt the audio for safety purposes to help the driver hear what’s going on around them. For example, I’m sure we’ve all heard a song or audio stream in our car that sounds like an emergency siren. Instead, we might have the audio turned up high enough that we can’t hear the actual emergency siren on the road. If this is not considered during the design phase, the spatial audio and immersive experience of Dolby Atmos may further hinder the driver’s perception of the surrounding environment, but this is not a problem, because these ADAS and AD are designed into Security Functions Platform.
I’m excited to experience the Dolby Atmos car entertainment system with Cadence’s Tensilica HiFi DSP. This support for Dolby Atmos reminds me of how far ADAS and AD platforms have come and the potential these platforms bring, not just for safety but also from a value and immersive entertainment standpoint Look.
Fluent.ai Embedded Software
In another major win for Cadence, Fluent.ai, in partnership with MediaTek subsidiary Airoha, announced its speech recognition solution for TWS products running on the Cadence Tensilica HiFi 5 DSP.
Cadence said speech recognition is part of the integration available on DSP Concepts’ Audio Weaver platform. OEMs using Audio Weaver can create fully customizable audio experiences, triggering more than 30 TWS actions through 101 natural and flexible voice commands.
Cadence’s Tensilica HiFi DSP is already available in popular TWS devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (using the Tensilica HiFi 3 DSP), the Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen (using the Tensilica HiFi Mini DSP), and the Ray-Bans Stories smart glasses (using the Tensilica HiFi Mini DSP) Tensilica HiFi 4 DSP). Once the new Tensilica HiFi 5 DSP design is incorporated into TWS devices, we could see future products from Samsung, Amazon, and others adopt this new speech recognition technology. I see a huge benefit in embedding speech recognition technology in edge devices (in this case, TWS products) because it is faster than speech recognition on network-dependent devices such as smartphones.
The low-power design of the Tensilica HiFi 5 DSP also supports embedded speech recognition without sacrificing high computational throughput or precious battery life. Cadence said the Tensilica HiFi 5 DSP combines neural networks with traditional digital signal processing to efficiently perform audio preprocessing, keyword detection and more natural speech recognition. These new developments in the Tensilica HiFi DSP family enable more AI functions powered by neural networks. I’m interested in seeing how OEMs can customize and implement speech recognition in TWS products. As mentioned above, I could easily see standalone TWS earbuds hitting the market with Cadence’s Tensilica HiFi 5 DSP.
While CES is mostly known for unveiling big concepts and new projects, I believe it’s designs like Cadence’s Tensilica HiFi DSP with AI capabilities and Dolby Atmos support that really reveal the innovative potential of these projects and concepts. In particular, the Tensilica HiFi DSP supports Dolby Atmos for in-vehicle entertainment systems. It reveals a lot about the state of ADAS and AD in the automotive industry, and how new safety features go hand in hand with the shift to immersive digital experiences in vehicles.
Likewise, it’s exciting to see Fluent.ai’s embedded speech recognition software in TWS products. Thanks to DPS Concepts’ Audio Weaver platform, OEMs should be able to implement and customize Fluent.ai’s embedded speech recognition and bring these products to market faster. While speech recognition in TWS has been available for some time, it has not yet been implemented without network dependencies. It will be exciting to see how Cadence’s Tensilica Hifi DSP continues to enable immersive experiences that expand into TWS and automotive entertainment.
Note: Jacob Freyman, Moor Insights & Strategy Cooperative, contributed to this article.
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