June 22, 2012 -
Spansion Inc. and Nuance Communications Inc. have unveiled Spansion Acoustic Coprocessor, the industry’s first human machine interface (HMI) coprocessor that enables voice-controlled system interfaces integrating Spansion’s technology with Nuance’s voice recognition technology.
This is the first product to make human interfaces such as voice, image and gesture faster, more engaging and more natural. While other products use generic hardware and software in interfacing, Spansion Acoustic Coprocessor uses an application-specific approach that integrates custom-designed logic and hardware with Nuance’s VoCon software engine, making it process faster and more natural.
The operating system is embedded in a chip that combines a dedicated processor to capture voices with dedicated memory, which Spansion is known for, that stores an acoustic database of words and sounds that can be matched by the software. Spansion Acoustic Coprocessor unloads memory, providing more room to accommodate more words and sounds to add into the database. This will later recognize differences in gender, dialects, and multiple languages for more accurate matching of what that system hears with what it understands.
As reviewed in CNET, Acoustic Coprocessor comes with the dual benefits of both halving the response time for the recognition of voice inputs and halving the load placed on a car’s main processor.
In a side-by-side comparison between voice recognition with and without the coprocessor, it showed that Spansion was able to reduce the main CPU load by 51 percent and reduce the response time from 8.7 seconds to 3.4 seconds (a 62 percent drop). The always-on technology means that Spansion processor is able to spring to life and begin tackling the audio processing almost immediately — a great claim to be able to make in the literal fast-moving world of cars.
As Chris Schreiner, director of Automotive Consumer Insights for Strategy Analytics, pointed out, “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 vehicles.”
Spansion Acoustic Coprocessor will initially cater to the automotive market. Currently, major automotive manufacturers are evaluating the product with the target release by the third quarter of this year.
“Spansion is integrating Nuance’s technology in a unique way to give automotive manufacturers an especially powerful platform,” said Michael Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of the Nuance Mobile Division. “Specialized coprocessors can make voice interactions exceptionally fast, more natural, and even more accurate.”