Pico-ITX i.MX8M Board Enables Offline Voice Control with Snips

Estone EMB-2238

A few days ago, we covered Estone Technology’s MJ-100 RK3399 rugged tablet. I’ve just realized Estone Technology used to promote their embedded product under the Habey USA brand, which we covered a few times here, and the company has also announced another new product ahead of Embedded World 2019 with their EMB-2238 Pico-ITX i.MX8M board specifically designed for voice control applications. The company setup two voice control demos with the board: one with Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) and another with Snips that works locally without any Internet connection. We actually came across Snips previously for an article comparing microphone arrays, but I never looked into Snips into details or saw an actual demo. Let’s have a quick look at EMB-2238 board specifications first: SoC –  NXP i.MX 8MQuad  with 4x Arm Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.5GHz, 1x Arm Cortex-M4 realtime-core @ 266MHz, Vivante GC7000L/GC7000LVX with support for OpenGL/ES 3.1, OpenGL 3.0, Vulkan, OpenCL 1.2 System Memory – Onboard 2GB LPDDR4, …

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Kodi 18 “Leia” Released Ahead of FOSDEM 2019

Kodi 18 Leia

As one should have expected based on the abstract of the upcoming Kodi presentation at FOSDEM 2019, Kodi 18 “Leia” has just been released a few days before the 2-day open source developer event. It’s been nearly two years since the release of Kodi 17 “Krypton”, and it took a little longer than initially expected for Kodi 18 to become stable enough for an official since there have been so many changes including half a million lines of code added by 36 open source developers, close to 10,000 commits for almost 9,000 changed files. Some of the improvements in Kodi 18 include: Retroplayer gaming with support for gaming emulators, ROMs and game controls. Digital Rights Management (DRM) decryption support to play subscription content Improved Music Library with better filtering, faster API access, and more Live TV improvements including support for new back-ends like Zattoo, Teleboy, and Sledovanitv.cz, as well as enhanced EPG and PVR support among other things. Binary addon support …

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96Boards HiChips Parrot Board and 3-Mic Array Work with Amazon Alexa

96boards Parrot Board Amazon-AVS 3-Mic far field board

Early last year, Banana Pi unveiled Allwinner SoC-Only 3-Mic Far-Field Development Kit for Amazon AVS, a board powered by Allwinner R18 processor extended with an external 3-mic array board, officially supported by Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS), and sold for $129 plus shipping. There’s now a compatible board following 96Boards CE Extended form factor, and selling for just $79.99 plus shipping on Alibaba or 555.99 CNY on 1688.com. The board looks almost the same as the original 3-Mic far-field development kit, apart from the LS and HS connectors found in the 96Boards hardware platforms. Hichips Parrot board should not be confused with Allwinner R16 based Parrot board that was used by Allwinner internally, and never made available to the general public. Hichips Parrot board specifications: SoC – Allwinner R18 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.15GHz with Mali400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, micro SD card slot Video Output – HDMI Audio – 3x Microphones, 2x …

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NXP Immersiv3D Enables DSP-Free Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Audio Systems

NXP Immersiv3d audio reference design

High-fidelity audio systems such as soundbars, smart speakers, and AV receivers have traditionally relied on DSPs (Digital Signal Processors) to deliver low-latency audio processing, and enable audio and video synchronization. DSPs add to the cost of the overall design however, and with Immersiv3D technology, NXP has leveraged Arm Cortex-A53 and M4 cores in their NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor to completely remove the need for DSP in audio systems, shaving the BoM cost by up to 20%  according to an article on EETimes. Immersiv3D also enables immersive audio support with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, advanced audio pre/post processing, advanced features like voice control for the smart home. Immersiv3D audio solution was designed to help OEMs to bring to market affordable consumer audio devices with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and beside the audio processing software, NXP is also offering an Immersiv3D audio reference design to help them delelop sound bars based on the solution. The press release further explains: The NXP …

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This Amplifier Board Features Beken BK3266 Bluetooth 5.0 Audio SoC

Bluetooth 5 audio board

I’ve been writing about a few Bluetooth 5.0 solutions this year, but in most case those were based on Nordic Semi nRF52 chips which do support BT 5.0 Low Energy, but not Bluetooth classic which means they are suitable for HID devices, but not for all applications such as potentially some Bluetooth audio application. I’ve just come across a $10.59 audio amplifier board on IC station that is supposed to support Bluetooth 5.0 via Beken BK3266 Bluetooth audio chip. Specifications and features listed for the board: Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity Up to 6 paired devices Bluetooth protocols – HFPV1.7, A2DPV1.2, AVRCPV1.5, AVCTPV1.2, AVDTPV1.2 Range up to 10 meters Transmission Power – Class2, 4dbm Sensitivity – -81dBm < 0.1% BER Frequency Range – 2.402GHz – 2.480GHz Audio MP3/WMA/WAV music format Speaker Impedance – 4 to 8 Ohm Output Power –  2x15W at 16V/4A, 2x10W at 12V/4A Audio signal to noise ratio >75dB Configuration via UART interface Misc – On/off button Supply Voltage …

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Up2Stream WiFi Audio Receiver Module Targets DIY Wireless Speakers

WiFi Speaker DIY Kit

If you own a set of very good speakers, and are interested in making them smarter, Arylic Up2Stream WiFi audio receiver module may be a solution to look into. The module allows to make your own DIY wireless speakers by adding WiFi connectivity, and features such as multiroom, AirPlay, DLNA streaming, Spotify, and Internet radio streaming. Up2Stream (WA31) hardware specifications: SoC – MediaTek MT7688AN MIPS processor @ up to 580 MHz System Memory – 64MB DDR2 Storage – 16MB flash Connectivity – 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n 1T1R WiFi up to 150 Mbps with 5 dBi I-PEX antenna Audio – 24-bit / 192 KHz decoding, 20 Hz – 20KHz frequency range, 4-pin speaker connector with 2.0mm pitch USB – 1x USB 2.0 port port Power Supply – 5VDC / 1A via 2-pin header (2.0mm pitch) Power Consumption – 160 to 320 mA Dimensions – 55.21 x 41.37mm The module ships with a 2-pin power cable, a 4-pin audio cable, and adhesive antenna, …

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Rakoit KM200 Karaoke Audio Mixer Supports 4K Videos

4K Karaoke Audio Mixer

While there are plenty of karaoke systems on Aliexpress, it’s pretty hard to find one that supports 4K videos, and Rakoit KM200 karaoke audio mixer is one of the rare that do. You’d just need to add your own 4K TV box / media player / computer, 4K UHD television, one or two microphones, and you’re ready to go. Rakoit KM200 specifications: Audio & Video In/Out HDMI output and HDMI input with 4K2K video support RCA jack for composite and stereo audio output and input 2x MIC Line-in Controls – 2x MIC volume adjust button, main volume adjust, echo volume adjust, earphone slot Power Supply – 12V DC Beside audio mixing, the device works as an amplifier, and supports 1080p to 4K upscaling. The karaoke mixer ships with an HDMI cable, an RCA cable, and a power adapter. Rakoit KM200 now sells for $99 on Acrylic.com, but you’ll also find it on Aliexpress for the normal $119 price tag. Support …

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Giveaway Week – ESP32-LyRaTD-MSC Audio Misc HDK

Espressif-ESP32-LyraTD-MSC-Kit

ESP32-LyraTD-MSC is a smart audio hard development kit based on ESP32 WiSoC that I plan to send  to one of my readers as part of Giveaway week. I had the chance to test ESP32-LyraTD-MSC with Baidu DuerOS voice assistant back in February which requires you to speak Mandarin, but now the board has become more useful outside of China with the release of Espressif ESP-ADF audio development framework and support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. To enter the draw simply leave a comment below. Other rules are as follows: Only one entry per contest. I will filter out entries with the same IP and/or email address. Contests are open for 48 hours starting at 10am (Bangkok time) every day. Comments will be closed after 48 hours. If comments are open, the contest is still going on. Winners will be selected with random.org, and announced in the comments section of each giveaway. I’ll contact the winner by email, and I’ll …

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