Bringing Noisefree to Handsfree: New Release of QNX Middleware Boosts Quality of In-Car Phone Conversations

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News at a Glance...

  • Innovative software product improves quality and clarity of handsfree calls.
  • Eliminates costly hardware, making handsfree solutions affordable for a much larger range of automobiles.
  • New features enhance call volume and quality, improve echo cancellation, simplify system diagnostics, and speed up performance optimization.
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    OTTAWA, June 17, 2008 — QNX Software Systems today announced a new release of the QNX® Aviage® acoustic processing kit, an innovative software product that dramatically reduces the cost and improves the quality of handsfree systems for the automobile.

    Built on proven technology deployed in more than 60 vehicle platforms from Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Fiat, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and other automakers, the QNX Aviage acoustic processing kit replaces dedicated voice-processing hardware with a small, efficient software solution. The kit uses patented algorithms to extract the human voice from noisy car interiors, thereby improving the clarity and user experience of handsfree phone conversations.

    The new release of the QNX Aviage acoustic processing kit introduces several new capabilities, including: automatic gain control to maximize the dynamic range of incoming audio; a parametric equalizer for precise control over in-car sound quality; dynamic level control for automatically raising volume levels during periods of high cabin noise; a limiter/compressor to provide consistent speech level; a bandwidth extension feature for fuller-sounding conversations; and an enhanced diagnostics module to simplify system integration issues.

    With other solutions, it often takes a week or more to tune noise suppression and echo cancellation for a specific vehicle. With the new QNX Aviage kit, the tuning process typically takes less than half a day. To make system optimization even easier, the new release includes a Windows-based, remote-control utility that lets developers interactively turn features on or off, tweak settings, adjust performance, start and stop streaming audio, restart and reset the library, log events, and run diagnostics — all while a handsfree call is in progress.

    Highly customizable, the QNX Aviage acoustic processing kit offers a modular library of software algorithms that system designers can use individually or in combination, based on application requirements. This modular architecture, along with support for multiple processors and DSPs, allows system designers to easily update, modify, and reuse the kit across multiple product lines. As a result, customers can maximize investments in development and further reduce production costs.

    “Handsfree systems are the key to improving the interaction between the driver and in-car electronics, and the new release of the QNX Aviage acoustic processing kit introduces several features that make handsfree conversations more intelligible and enjoyable,” said Andrew Poliak, worldwide automotive sales director at QNX Software Systems. “Just as important, the kit makes handsfree systems affordable for a much larger range of automobiles, including economy models.”

    Availability and hardware support
    The QNX Aviage acoustic processing kit v1.2 is slated for release June 27. The kit runs on a variety of 32-bit CPUs and DSPs, including ARM9+, SH-4+, PowerPC processors, and TI C64x DSPs.

    About QNX Software Systems
    QNX Software Systems, a Harman International company (NYSE: HAR), is the industry leader in realtime, embedded OS technology. The component-based architectures of the QNX® Neutrino® RTOS, QNX Momentics® development suite, and QNX Aviage® middleware together provide the industry’s most reliable and scalable framework for building innovative, high-performance embedded systems. Global leaders such as Cisco, Daimler, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, and Siemens depend on QNX technology for network routers, medical instruments, vehicle telematics units, security and defense systems, industrial robotics, and other mission- or life-critical applications. Founded in 1980, QNX Software Systems is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, and distributes products in over 100 countries worldwide.

    Editorial Contacts

    Paul Leroux
    QNX Software Systems
    +1 613 591-0931
    paull@qnx.com

    QNX, Aviage, Momentics, and Neutrino are trademarks of QNX Software Systems GmbH & Co. KG, registered in certain jurisdictions, and are used under license. All other trademarks and trade names belong to their respective owners.