NXP launches far-field voice control and command recognition scheme

According to Gartner statistics, voice control will become mainstream technology in the next few years. By 2022, more than 50% of high-end products in mature markets will have built-in voice interfaces, compared with less than 1% in 2018. As the leader in the voice control market, NXPSemiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXP) has introduced industry-leading MCU-based far-field voice control and command recognition solutions. The solution is cost-effective and easy to use, and meets the needs of a wide range of embedded home, commercial and industrial markets for embedded universal voice control without the need to connect to cloud-based voice services to help protect user privacy.

Dennis Cabrol, executive director of NXP's IoT solutions, said: "The i.MX RT106LMCU-based products from NXP enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring low-latency automated operations to their customers. End users can get the most Fast response, no time-consuming setup, and no need to disclose user data to devices. Manufacturers can choose their own wake-up words while reducing the cost of BOM and cloud services."

NXP collaborates with Snips, a leader in embedded speech recognition software for enterprises, products and services, to implement machine learning-based integrated automatic command recognition (ACR) technology on local devices. The solution is built on the NXP i.MX RT106L cross-border MCU running FreeRTOS, which detects local commands and wake-up words in real time. In addition, the solution provides the necessary digital signal processing to support far-field operation.

The i.MX RT106L MCU-based solution out-of-the-box, built-in wake-up words and four sets of sample commands help developers quickly create proof of concept (PoC) to demonstrate and evaluate the voice control features added to their products. Upon successful completion of the PoC, OEMs can work directly with NXP to create a specific application model.

Snips Chief Technology Officer Joseph Dureau said: "Combining the Snips command function with NXP's native command solution based on the i.MX RT106L cross-border MCU not only achieves breakthroughs in price and performance, but also for smart homes and smart appliances. Brands and manufacturers add convenience to voice control, and they don't require a cloud connection, so they don't need Wi-Fi to avoid leaking customer privacy."

NXP's native command solution based on the i.MX RT106L MCU provides OEMs with the overall ACR products and far-field analog front-end AFEs needed to implement local voice control. Its production hardware design includes MCU, NXP's TFA9894D intelligent audio amplifier with speaker protection, and fully integrated software powered by NXP and its distribution partners. In addition, the solution features noise suppression, echo cancellation and beamforming for environments with harsh acoustic conditions. The i.MX RT106L integrates all the necessary voice-related functions with the software at no additional cost. The total system cost is less than half compared to an application processor or DSP based solution.

NXP is currently working with OEMs to launch an evaluation and development kit for the solution as soon as possible, which is expected to be fully available in the first quarter of 2020.