Spansion Expands Product Portfolio, Adds Acoustic Coprocessor into Lineup

Spansion Unveils Acoustic Coprocessor for Voice-Recognition Apps

by Anton Shilov
06/19/2012 | 09:48 PM

Spansion, a supplier of embedded flash memory solutions, has unveiled the Spansion acoustic coprocessor, the industry's first human machine interface (HMI) coprocessor that enables voice-controlled system interfaces. The device uses technology from Nuance Communications and is aimed at automotive, gaming and consumer electronics, significantly improving response time and accuracy over conventional voice interfaces by supporting larger acoustic databases.


"As human and machine interaction proliferates, the need for a more natural user interface is emerging with voice taking the lead. Our new acoustic coprocessor product reinforces our strategy to deliver value-add systems capabilities that will drive differentiation for our customers' products and inspire widespread adoption of connected, intelligent devices.," said Ali Pourkeramati, senior vice president of strategic alliances and business development at Spansion.

Spansion acoustic coprocessor comprises custom-designed logic and high-speed memory to accelerate and optimize voice-enabled human machine interfaces, while offloading the acoustic processing workload from a conventional CPU.  Benchmark results demonstrate that with the Spansion acoustic coprocessor, system response improves by 50% over typical systems using an application processor alone. The load on the application processor lowers by up to 50%, freeing it for other tasks. In addition, the acoustic coprocessor is able to support larger databases with multi-lingual, gender and tonal sounds, which in turn improves accuracy and advances natural language understanding.

As electronics become increasingly intelligent and interactive, human interfaces such as voice, image and gesture are emerging to meet the growing consumer demand for faster, more engaging access to information. To date, user interfaces have relied on generic hardware and software. Spansion acoustic Coprocessor is the first application-specific approach that integrates custom-designed logic and hardware with Nuance's VoCon software engine, and provides a dedicated resource for natural user interfaces such as voice.

The Spansion demo platform, which integrates Spansion's technology and Nuance voice recognition software, is currently being evaluated by major automotive manufacturers, with design samples available in the third quarter of this year.

"Advances in voice recognition that take us closer to natural language understanding are critical for the automotive market. More and more automakers are incorporating voice recognition interfaces into vehicles to manage both mobile connectivity as well as aid driver safety.  Improvements in accuracy and latency, such as those gained through innovations like the Spansion acoustic coprocessor, can provide big benefits to the consumer and change the way we interact with our vehicle," said Chris Schreiner, director of automotive consumer insights for Strategy Analytics.