Qualcomm Unveils New AI-Enabled Chip for Smart Audio Devices

Qualcomm Unveils New AI-Enabled Chip for Smart Audio Devices

Qualcomm has announced the launch of the QCS400 SoC series, a new line of chip-based AI solutions that are specifically designed for smart speakers and other smart audio applications. The chips offer users a greatly improved voice recognition interface, with far-field keyword recognition and echo cancellation that will make it easier to interact with voice assistants, even when loud music is coming from the speaker.

The new chips incorporate Qualcomm’s AI Engine to support any AI algorithms and neural network frameworks that a smart speaker manufacturer would wish to include, such as Google’s recently improved speech recognition interface.

“These new SoCs raise the bar on feature integration and power performance for smart audio compared to our previous technology,” said Qualcomm Technologies Connectivity SVP Rahul Patel. “This will help manufacturers overcome significant technical challenges and build smarter speakers with more intuitive voice UI and exceptional sound quality.”

The energy-efficient chips will also extend the battery life of smart devices. That means that users will still be able to listen to music and interact with a voice assistant if they decide to take their smart speaker or sound bar with them when they go outside.

The announcement indicates that robust AI capabilities will continue to be a key selling point for Qualcomm’s chip solutions. The company recently launched a $100 million investment fund that will focus on AI, as well as the XR1 platform for AR and VR applications, which also sported strong AI capabilties.