NXP takes on Wolfson with Rubidium

February 24, 2014 // By Nick Flaherty
NXP is attacking Wolfson's 'always on' audio technology through a deal with Israeli developer Rubidium.

NXP is integrating Rubidium's multi-lingual Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and always-listening Voice Trigger engine into its CoolFlux DSP ultra-low power (ULP) licensable core.
The integration of Rubidium’s technology into the CoolFlux DSP provides NXP licensees with access to hands free voice trigger and later also speech recognition capability with beam forming, barge-in capability and other voice user interface (VUI) functionalities, taking on the low power audio technology previously championed by UK chip and audio software developer Wolfson Microelectronics through a deal with Sensory this time last year.
Rubidium has been working on embedded speech processing technology for mobile devices, domestic appliances and consumer applications since 1995 and has over 50 million products in the market. The small-footprint multilingual voice user interface solutions include TTS, ASR, Voice Trigger, speech compression and playback as well as biometric speaker verification.
“We are pleased to offer our CoolFlux customers Rubidium's market proven technology,” says Johan Van Ginderdeuren, Director CoolFlux Licensing at NXP. “As an example, with only 0.5 MIPs in the quiet listening mode and 4 MIPs in the active trigger word recognition mode, we expect Rubidium’s Voice Trigger to typically consume only 28 microwatts on the CoolFlux DSP subsystem using an ULP 90nm library. This frees up resources for other activities on the DSP and minimizes power consumption while being always on. In addition, the small memory footprint provides for extended Rubidium functionalities such as biometric speaker verification.”
“Voice trigger and deeply embedded speech recognition have become a highly-requested feature in many consumer products such as mobile phones, hands free car-kits, wearable devices, automotive multimedia and infotainment and smart TVs,” said Shlomo Peller, CEO and founder of Rubidium. “Rubidium’s ULP micro-embedded voice trigger and speech recognition draws considerably less power than other embedded product offerings, hence is a perfect fit for the NXP’s ULP CoolFlux DSP combining best of both low power worlds. One of the immediate benefits to CoolFlux DSP's developer base