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New Speech Chip

Philips Semiconductors new Speech Rocognition IC.

Philips Semiconductors, has released details of its new speech recognition chip, the "Hello IC". As the world's most advanced low-cost, high-performance speech recognition chip for command and control applications, Philips Semiconductors is leading the mass adoption of speech control in cars and the home.

In the car, the Hello IC keeps the driver's hands on the wheel through hands-free operation of infotainment systems, such as in-car DVD, car radio and number dialing of mobile phones as well as comfort systems such as air conditioning. Unlike many past speech recognition systems which have suffered from notably poor recognition, the Hello IC is highly accurate - more than 95% in optimised settings - without the need to train the user, ensuring that the driver's focus is always on the road.

For home use, the Hello IC eliminates the need for multiple or complicated remote controls by enabling voice control of home entertainment systems, such as TVs, audio systems and DVD players. The optional Acoustic Echo Cancellation software ensures that the Hello IC still responds to commands that would otherwise be lost due to sound output from TV or audio systems.

"As a dedicated chip for speech command and control applications, the Hello IC provides manufacturers with the power to build effective speech-control into products at a lower cost and with greater technical simplicity than for any other device on the market," said Torsten Lehmann, product marketing manager for Speech Recognition, Philips Semiconductors.

The Hello IC is able to interpret the equivalent of up to 100 words with up to 50 words active at a time and features continuous connected word recognition, enabling the user to give whole sentences of instructions. The Speech Processing software - VoCon - which is stored on the chip and requires no external memory, also features noise cancellation software enabling the Hello IC to work in situations where background noise could otherwise affect voice recognition, such as in a car with an open window.

The IC-Architecture and Speech Recognition Algorithms, which collectively make up the Hello IC, are the joint result of work between Philips Semiconductors and Philips Speech Processing respectively. As such, Philips can provide a complete design and support package to help manufacturers implement the device. Customers also have the advantage of being able to source the software and hardware from one global supplier without the need to negotiate with other third party suppliers.

The first products to use the Hello IC chips will appear towards the end of 2001. Large Vocabulary solutions, for applications such as Navigation Systems, can also be provided based on the company's TriMedia processing core. Volume availability of the Hello IC will follow in the fourth quarter.

The company's Web site address is

[Reprinted with kind permission from Philips Semiconductors]

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