Responsive smart speaker designs
Smart speakers that hear better, sound better and react more intuitively
A smart speaker is a type of speaker and voice command device with an integrated virtual assistant that offers intuitive interaction and hands-free activation with the help of one key word or wake word.
Once a novelty in households, smart speakers are more and more becoming a norm. With this rapid adoption, user expectations are rising and the frustration with devices that are not understanding or hearing commands leads to lower usage rates and growth below its full potential. Components such as MEMS microphones, touch controllers, and new technologies such as radar are key to improving the user experience in the smart speaker segment.
Infineon has long-standing expertise in sensor, connectivity, and power solutions that fulfill the consumer market requirements in terms of outstanding performance, reliability, and energy efficiency.
Taking a look at the different design considerations throughout the smart speaker architecture:
Infineon 60 GHz radar technology enables a new form of interaction between users and devices. It enables sensing presence and movement of people with high precision. The chip is very small (5x6.5mm) and has extremely low power consumption. The technology has already been integrated into a smartphone for the first time ever to enable gesture control. With products launching onto the market this year, contact us today to learn how radar can help to make your speaker context-aware and enable true speaker innovation.
AIROC™ Wi-Fi & Combos integrate IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN and Bluetooth® in a single-chip solution to enable small-form-factor IoT designs. Combo solutions are available for both 1x1 SISO with up to 433 Mbps PHY data rates and 2x2 MIMO with up to 867 Mbps PHY data rates. These solutions can be coupled with external MCUs for RTOS, along with Linux on application processors to implement a complete Wi-Fi + Bluetooth® system. We support our Wi-Fi + Bluetooth customers through our global network of IoT partners using production-ready, fully-certified AIROC™ Wi-Fi & Combos modules based on both Linux and RTOS-based platforms.
Recommended products to use in smart speakers:
XENSIV™ MEMS microphones represent a new benchmark in performance, and current audio chain limitations can be overcome. A product needs reliable sensitive microphones that suit the system. For a voice system to work well, good raw data from the microphone must be fed to the voice processing algorithms running on the main system. Infineon helps you to integrate fast and easy into your design so that you will get your product to market quickly. Testing schemes can be fulfilled without any delays.
If you want to integrate a voice-controlled user interface (VUI) into a product that previously lacked an audio interface or implement an appliance design e.g. in smart speakers, TVs, and home appliances, you know it is not without roadblocks.
Infineon helps you at the start of your concept and during your development process to engineer a successful digital audio assistant design with devices such as XENSIV™ MEMS microphones.
Voice user interfaces need to be designed right from the beginning: it is critical for both consumer acceptance and integration of value-added services down the road. Interaction between a human and a digital assistant must become as intuitive and natural as possible.
Design products and devices that provide users with a best-in-class voice experience. For example the IM69D130 MEMS mic, ideal for applications that require low self-noise (high SNR) and distortion, a wide dynamic range, plus a high acoustic overload point.
Discover exceptional system benefits
Depending on the precise use case, highly sensitive Infineon MEMS microphones provide a range of system benefits.
- Whisper mode: Even softly spoken or whispered voice commands are picked up in more cases in systems with the Infineon mic. This improves user convenience and maximizes interaction.
- Multi-room and distance scenarios: As users become more at ease with voice technology, they expect more of their devices and seek natural interaction from across the room or in a different room.
- Regular voice: For devices with voice control to add significant convenience to everyday life, the technology must live up to its promise. Infineon mics lay a solid foundation for a great voice user experience.
Save space and costs with Infineon design solution
Once the voice is used, the design of products is affected too, as buttons on consumer products are reduced or even eliminated.
Our solutions also allow you to reduce the number of microphones in certain applications, saving BOM and space, and reducing the overall system cost.
The PSoC® 4000 family delivers the industry’s best capacitive-sensing technology, CapSense®, to implement buttons, sliders, and proximity sensors.
We recommend using either PSoC®4000S or PSoC®4100S depending on how many IOs/touch buttons are needed. The PSoC® 4000 family is a cost-optimized, entry-level family of Arm® Cortex®-M0 and M0+ microcontrollers. The PSoC® 4100 family adds intelligent analog integration through programmable analog blocks. Programmable analog blocks include analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), digital-to-analog converters (DACs), low-power comparators, and operational amplifiers (opamps). The PSoC 4100BL includes an integrated Bluetooth® Low Energy radio and subsystem.
If you require a metallic overlay for an HMI solution PSoC®4700S with noise immune inductive- and capacitive-sensing user-interface is the best choice. The PSoC® 4700 family adds advanced sensing technologies to Sense Anything including advanced capacitive sensing, inductive sensing, heart-rate sensing, and more. These advanced sensing technologies leverage specialized analog blocks in the PSoC® 4 portfolios to deliver innovative solutions to next-generation designs.
In addition, speakers need to be powered in an efficient and space-saving manner – no consumer is happy with a speaker power supply that distracts from the elegantly designed main device. Alternatively, even worse a power supply that destroys the main speaker due to overvoltage. Efficient and robust MOSFETS and drivers are therefore a key requirement and can easily be met with Infineon’s long expertise in power systems design.
At a similarly early stage, new technology is making its way to the stage – the Infineon radar sensors that have already made first appearances as speaker manufacturers are looking to increase the amount of intelligence within the speaker. For example, getting information on whether someone is around can help to turn on or off additional functionalities enabling a more intuitive interaction with the speaker, higher energy efficiency, and enhanced privacy. Learn more about presence detection.
Smart speakers are often used to listen to music but the audio quality of today’s speakers is often not satisfactory. To enable outstanding sound quality, the Infineon MERUS™ provides amplifier solutions. Besides, consumers are looking for more flexibility in moving speakers, a requirement that can be met with the MERUS™ amplifier solutions, which enable up to twice as long battery playback time. On top of that, designers have the option to design heatsink-free, enable filter less high performance, and thus simplify their design.
Webinar: Gear up for your Next Gen Designs with Infineon Smart Speaker Solutions
In this webinar, attendees will learn:
- A basic understanding of the smart speaker application, and its use cases
- Insights in the smart speaker market, key trends, and functional blocks
- About Infineon's products and solutions for smart speakers and the supporting materials
Next Generation of VUI Applications with XENSIV™ MEMS microphones
Infineon's MERUS™ audio solutions | new benchmark for class D amplifiers
How radar can make your home intuitively smart