Knowles Precision Devices
0821 Mw Knowles Tws Dev Kit Promo

TWS Development Kit Puts AI Into Ears

Aug. 6, 2021
A TWS development kit shortens design cycle for OEMs and gets Bluetooth-enabled earbuds and headphones with advanced AI features more quickly to market.

The Overview

To shorten design cycles for true-stereo-wireless (TWS) earbuds and headphones, Knowles Precision Devices is debuting a development kit for OEMs of these near-ubiquitous earbuds and headphones that will enable them to incorporate advanced AI-based conversation enhancement.

Who Needs It and Why?

There are many OEMs producing TWS products, from the big players like Apple and Samsung to offshore makers of knockoff/low-budget devices. All of them need to quickly incorporate advanced features that will differentiate their products and, hopefully, catch consumers’ attention as they shop on Amazon to replace the earbuds they ran through the washer. Knowles’s TWS Development Platform lets designers explore and implement state-of-the-art feature sets.

The popularity of true-wireless-stereo (TWS) earphones and earbuds has exploded, in part because major smartphone makers like Apple have removed audio jacks from their handsets in recent years. But the convenience and expanding functionality of TWS devices are enough to lure many users even if their phones still retain an audio jack.

According to market analyst Canalys, some 2 billion TWS products will be sold by 2024. Some 60% of TWS users want some form of conversation enhancement in their devices; it’s the most requested new feature. It’s a compelling reason for TWS OEMs to look carefully at Knowles’s platform.

Under the Hood

Knowles’s TWS Development Platform gives designers access to a huge palette of advanced features they can incorporate into their designs. It also, naturally, points them toward several of Knowles’s own transducer and audio-processing products.

The guts of the fully operational TWS development kit comprises a set of pre-tuned and pre-configured earbuds designed by Knowles paired with a powerful Bluetooth-enabled processing platform. The earbuds come designed with Knowles SiSonic MEMS microphone arrays, voice vibration sensors, and a choice of premium speaker driver assemblies with Knowles balanced armatures.

The Secret Sauce

If you have enough experience with TWS products, then you know that a frequent pain point for consumers is in using them for voice calls. Knowles has partnered with UK-based AI startup Chatable, which developed its AITransparency+ product explicitly for Knowles’s AISonic audio edge processor. AITransparency+ provides that sought-after conversation enhancement capability. It’s achieved using an on-chip, proprietary deep neural-network architecture that performs over 100 million AI calculations per second to enable selective acoustic enhancement of conversational speech signals without perceptible latency. AITransparency+ can be engaged with or without active noise cancellation (ANC). The result is clearer and more enjoyable voice-call experiences with TWS devices.

On the voice quality and intelligibility front, Knowles has partnered with Alango Technologies to fold in its Voice Communication Package (VCP) with multi-microphone beamforming, and its OnlyVoice technology, which intelligently combines external beamforming with internal sensor-based voice processing. Both are ported to Knowles’s AISonic processor to enable TWS devices to deliver outstanding voice pickup.

Availability

The TWS development platform is now available to TWS manufacturers. Please contact Knowles for development support.

Sponsored Recommendations

UHF to mmWave Cavity Filter Solutions

April 12, 2024
Cavity filters achieve much higher Q, steeper rejection skirts, and higher power handling than other filter technologies, such as ceramic resonator filters, and are utilized where...

Wideband MMIC Variable Gain Amplifier

April 12, 2024
The PVGA-273+ low noise, variable gain MMIC amplifier features an NF of 2.6 dB, 13.9 dB gain, +15 dBm P1dB, and +29 dBm OIP3. This VGA affords a gain control range of 30 dB with...

Fast-Switching GaAs Switches Are a High-Performance, Low-Cost Alternative to SOI

April 12, 2024
While many MMIC switch designs have gravitated toward Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology due to its ability to achieve fast switching, high power handling and wide bandwidths...

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.