QNX Acoustics Management Platform

A breakthrough in acoustics for vehicles

Product Brief

A Fully Integrated Software Architecture to Manage Vehicle Acoustics

The QNX® Acoustics Management Platform (AMP) 3.0 is a breakthrough in automotive software. For the first time, automakers can design and manage the total sonic experience in their cars with a pure software solution designed to run on general-purpose application processor cores – saving bill-of-material costs and shortening time to production, while delivering new features and uncompromising sound quality.

Modern vehicles contain multiple acoustic and audio signal-processing features that need to operate simultaneously while sharing microphones and loudspeakers in the vehicle cabin. Until now, these features have been implemented in separate ECUs, provided by a myriad of suppliers and requiring detailed and labour-intensive tuning and integration for every vehicle configuration prior to production.

QNX AMP 3.0 comes pre-configured with a core set of audio and acoustic functionality that meets the requirements of today’s most advanced system designs and with the extensibility and flexibility to meet the challenges of the future.

Pre-configured, Extensible Solution for Building Cost-effective Acoustics Systems

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Low Latency Audio Signal Processing

QNX AMP uses a low-latency audio architecture that offers real-time, high-performance signal processing on general-purpose application processors – with unprecedented time resolution as low as one millisecond. As a result, automakers, at their choice, can eliminate proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) cores or specialized external hardware to implement compute-intensive acoustics applications, thereby significantly reducing cost.

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Integrated Solution

QNX AMP offers unified management of all acoustics in the car, enabling customers to reduce the cost, complexity and time-to-production of audio signal-processing systems. It also offers flexible deployment options; use only the functional modules as demanded by the needs of the system.  

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Seamless Integration with Guest OSs

QNX AMP can also be implemented in a virtualized environment using QNX® Hypervisor. This allows seamless integration with Linux® / Android™ infotainment guest OSs with full support for all audio functionality.

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Powerful Tuning, Analysis and Diagnostic Tools

QNX LiveAMP tool supports diagnostics required for HEAD Acoustics testing. In addition, LiveAMP enables rapid tuning of parameters to optimize performance to a specific vehicle configuration – with many steps completely automated.

BlackBerry QNX also offers services that cover training, tuning, testing and compliance certification.

Technology

Components

QNX AMP integrates a comprehensive suite of acoustics modules and a tooling and integration tool. Each functional module provides a specific set of features that provide audio signal processing for speech recognition, telephony, high-resolution music reproduction, in-cabin speech enhancement, active noise control, sound-design and creation for both in-cabin reproduction and external pedestrian alerts, speaker cross-overs and cabin equalization.

QNX AMP modules and tools include:

  • QNX Acoustics for Voice
  • QNX In-Car Communication
  • QNX Active Sound Design
  • QNX Software Audio Management
  • QNX Chimes and Safety Alerts
  • QNX LiveAMP 

Products

QNX Acoustics for Voice

QNX® Acoustics for Voice is an advanced, modular library of field-proven algorithms specifically designed to detect and extract voice from cabin noise created by road surfaces, construction, engines, wind, rain, and other vehicles. It dramatically improves the clarity, quality, and accuracy of voice communication and enhances the performance of in-car, hands-free communication and speech recognition systems.

QNX Acoustics for Voice is dedicated to meeting the specific acoustic challenges of the automotive environment, by setting a new benchmark in hands-free quality and has support for the rigorous new requirements of smartphone connectivity including Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™.

QNX Acoustics for Voice supports:

  • ITU P.1100/1110, P.1140 (eCall), & ERA-GLONASS signal processing requirements
  • Narrow and wideband Bluetooth® connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay® and Google® Android Auto™ requirements at 8, 16, 24, 32, and 48 kHz sample rates
  • Multi-zone speech isolation with QNX proprietary Zone Interference Control (ZIC)
  • Up to 32 microphone elements in up to 8 zones and 32-bit/sample format
  • Fixed and adaptive beamforming with up to 8 elements per beamformer
  • Comprehensive tuning and diagnostics tool QNX LiveAMP included
  • Optional QNX® Compact Head and Torso Simulator (CHATS) tuning automation system
  • Superior full-duplex performance on native Android or Linux systems with optional io-acoustic for Linux

QNX In-Car Communications

QNX ICC enables safer conversations – instead of shouting or being distracted by having to turn around to be heard, the driver can talk normally to passengers while keeping their eyes on the road. Multiple capture and playback zones allow front-to-back, back-to-front and passenger-to-passenger communication. QNX ICC dynamically adapts to noise conditions and adds enhancement only when needed.

QNX ICC offers a fully automated, true noise-based, per-zone gain control for zero-distraction consumer experience, that includes:

  • Low algorithmic latency of 3ms
  • Supports from 1 to 4 independent source and target zones, scaling from a simple front-to-back to a complete multi-way ICC system
  • Fine-grained, per-zone control over EQ for a natural ICC experience
  • Comprehensive tuning, diagnostic and configuration management with QNX LiveAMP
  • Full interoperability with high-quality music and media playback
  • CPU optimized and low-memory footprint code

QNX Active Sound Design

QNX Active Sound Design (ASD) offers a complete vehicle sound design and active noise control solution that allows sound designers to control the desired ambient noise both within the vehicle and outside the vehicle (Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems supported). QNX ASD includes a suite of software components that reduces unwanted cabin noise, enhances and creates new engine sounds and projects sounds to pedestrians. Sound components can be pre-tuned and pre-calibrated in real-time using the QNX LiveAMP.

QNX ASD features:

  • Active Noise Control for Engine Order Reduction with up to 6 microphones, 6 control outputs, 5 engine orders, and up to 300 Hz bandwidth
  • Engine Sound Enhancement with up to 24 additive engine orders, advanced granular synthesis and sample playback capabilities
  • Comprehensive real-time and dynamic effects and processing chain that can reference any real-time data available from CAN or other sources
  • Complete, graphical and intuitive sound profile design with QNX LiveAMP that also allows desktop auditioning and driving data replay prior to vehicle deployment
  • Fully supports the development of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) compliant with UN138 and national derivatives

QNX Software Audio Management

QNX Software Audio Management (QNX SAM) delivers a comprehensive loudspeaker management, media playback and sound field optimization solution built entirely in software, reducing and eliminating the need for external DSPs. QNX Software Audio Management (SAM) allows high resolution of media playback streams to be performed on the main application / infotainment CPU. The audio system architecture is specified via software configuration, rather than via hardware configuration with its inherent inflexibilities. QNX SAM can scale - with a simple change of configuration files - from a base level audio system with four loudspeakers all the way to a high-end audio system with twenty loudspeakers or more. Additionally, the QNX audio framework allows for custom integration of third-party modules, such as MQA.

QNX SAM supports:

  • High-resolution 32-bit audio path at sample rates up to 96kHz and beyond
  • Cabin correction with fine-grained multi-node parametric EQs
  • Scalable from 2 to 32 independent loudspeaker outputs each with fine-tuned gain & delay normalization
  • Bass management
  • Active crossovers
  • Dynamic EQ for perceptual loudness control and speed-dependent volume
  • End-user tone controls and parametric EQ
  • Intuitive, graphical tuning and diagnostics via LiveAMP
  • SIMD vectorized and optimized code

QNX Chimes and Safety Alerts

QNX Chimes and Safety Alerts (QNX CSA) is a software-based chimes and alerts solution for playback and monitoring of chimes and safety alerts using one or more in-cabin microphones and one or more chime reference signals. Monitoring of the playback signal is critical. As more ADAS and autonomous features are deployed, it is becoming essential to ensure that when the driver is required to attend to a situation and take over control, or to potentially avoid a hazardous situation, that the audio alarms and alerts that they should hear are actually audible. QNX CSA forms part of a safety-critical software and hardware system and brings fault-detection to the audio system of a car. The safety of the chime player is thus improved by continuously monitoring whether it is functioning as expected. Because the solution is software-based, this allows automakers to eliminate dedicated ECU hardware.

QNX CSA includes:

  • Audio alerts becoming safety-critical components for ADAS and autonomous/semi-autonomous driving systems
  • QNX® Chimes and Safety Alerts offers proprietary audio system audibility monitoring using cabin microphones / electrical monitor
  • QNX CSA can use QNX Active Sound Design for chime playback and capture of reference signals, reducing microphone and speaker hardware costs
  • Early Audio support via QNX RTOS fast boot and Instant Device Activation (IDA)
  • LiveAMP PC tuning tool allows rapid live tuning and diagnostics capabilities
  • QNX® Active Sound Design (ASD) 2.0 provides dynamic audio generation with real-time vehicle data sources

QNX LiveAMP

QNX LiveAMP is a PC-based graphical tool for tuning, diagnosis, configuration and analysis of the Acoustics Management Platform. QNX LiveAMP is beneficial for real-time and interactive adjustments of all system parameters, injection and streaming of signals and vehicle data at multiple tap-points in the system, tuning automation using QNX CHATS, monitoring using device-under-test and/or reference microphones, real-time spectral displays, configuration file management, and offline sound design for QNX ASD.

Resources

Product Brief: QNX Acoustics Management Platform Product Brief

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Webinar: A New Approach to Automotive Acoustics

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