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DALLAS - Texas Instruments has announced technology enhancements that redefine its extensive Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions portfolio, driving voice applications even closer to a high-definition (HD) experience. TI is licensing the Low Delay AAC super wideband codec from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. Headquartered in Erlangen, Germany, Fraunhofer IIS is the home of MP3 and co-inventor of AAC audio coding. Powered by TI’s high-performance digital signal processors (DSPs), the MPEG-4 AAC-LD super-wideband codec offers substantial benefits compared to earlier wideband audio technology, and has the performance capabilities to make ubiquitous HD voice a reality in global IP networks.

Able to transmit voice at a sample rate of up to 48 KHz, super-wideband codec technology offers significant sound quality improvements over traditional narrowband and wideband voice codecs. The technology provides near-CD quality audio at data-rates of 48 - 64 kbps for better clarity with applications like IP-based voice and video, as well as transmission of music over the telephone. The greater sampling rate capabilities of an HD voice channel together with the fidelity of an audio codec accounts for sound quality that is significantly richer and extended at both ends of the spectrum, and produces a perceptible difference in the resonance and intelligibility of voice.

“TI is one of the few companies to see beyond the sound quality of today’s IP networks and embrace the benefits high definition can bring to VoIP,” said Harald Popp, head of the Multimedia Realtime Systems department at Fraunhofer IIS. “The bandwidth capabilities of our super-wideband codec MPEG-4 AAC Low Delay coupled with TI’s powerful voice processing platforms will allow service providers to support HD voice on their IP networks and offer their customers a richer audio experience than ever imagined.”

Just as HD television is revolutionizing the way we watch TV and HD radio enhances the daily commutes for millions of people each day, HD voice will deliver a uniquely crisp and clear communications experience. It will also be a critical enabling technology for a host of exciting applications in the future, such as improved speech recognition, real-time language translation, and appliance voice control. At the same time, advances in home networking and broadband technologies will be essential in driving the move to a voice-powered home and beyond, where a person’s voice will be able to do everything from conveying a greater depth of meaning and understanding to simply turning on the lights in a room.

With this new super-wideband technology, TI’s VoIP solutions can deliver CD-quality sound on both ends of a VoIP-enabled phone call, while supporting a full range of voice and music capabilities, including fidelity comparable to MP3 audio. Leveraging DaVinciTM technology processing performance and TI’s field-proven VoIP platforms, the AAC LD super-wideband codec can support real-time IP applications including multimedia integration, HD audio and rich, robust sound quality.

“Making our vision for high definition voice a reality will require technical advancements on many fronts including hardware, software, security, voice-processing algorithms and speech-recognition systems,” said Fred Zimmerman, director, VoIP customer premises solutions, Texas Instruments. “TI’s digital signal processing platforms have already transformed and greatly accelerated many of the basic capabilities that form the foundation of this vision, and with the addition of super-wideband audio technology to our VoIP portfolio, we’re that much closer to transforming the world of IP performance.”


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