Lyra audio codec enables high-quality voice calls at 3 kbps bitrate

We’re often writing about new video codecs like AV1 or H.266, and recently, we covered AVIF picture format that offers an improved quality/compression ratio against WebP and JPEG, but there’s also work done on audio codecs. Notably, we noted Opus 1.2 offered decent speech quality with a bitrate as low as 12 kbps when it was outed in 2017, the release of Opus 1.3 in 2019 improved the codec further with high-quality speech possible at just 9 kbps. But Google AI recently unveiled Lyra very low-bitrate codec for speech compression that achieves high speech quality with a bitrate as low as 3kbps. Before we go into the details of Lyra codec, Google compared a reference audio file encoded with Lyra at 3 kbps, Opus at 6 kbps (the minimum bitrate for Opus), and Speex at 3 kbps, and users reported Lyra to sound the best, and close to the original. You can actually try it by yourself. Clean Speech Original […]

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MaaXBoard Nano SBC targets audio and edge IoT with NXP i.MX 8M Nano SoC

Avnet has launched several Raspberry Pi-inspired MaaXBoard SBCs based on NXP i.MX processors through their Embest subsidiary starting in 2019 with MaaXBoard single board computer powered by an NXP i.MX 8M processor, and following by MaaxBoard Mini with NXP i.NX 8M Mini SoC in 2020. The latest model is MaaXBoard Nano SBC with an NXP i.MX 8M Nano quad-core Cortex-A53 processor best suited to audio and edge IoT applications. MaaxBoard Nano SBC specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX 8M Nano quad-core Arm Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.5GHz with Cortex-M7F core @ 750MHz, 2D GPU, 3D GPU, but no video hardware decoding. System Memory -1GB DDR4 SDRAM Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, 256 Mbit QSPI Flash, MicroSD Slot Display  Interface – MIPI DSI display Interface Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, 4x built-in microphones Camera I/F – MIPI CSI Camera Interface Networking – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4.2/5 with external antenna connector USB – 4x USB 2.0 host […]

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AmpliPi – A Raspberry Pi-based whole house audio amplifier (Crowdfunding)

Micro Nova has put together an open-source, whole-house audio amplifier called AmpliPi based on Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+. It is capable of streaming four independent sources to 6 stereo output zones, expandable to up to 36 stereo output zones through daisy-chained extender units. AmpliPi specifically supports inputs from four networking streaming sources including AirPlay, Pandora, Spotify, and DLNA, as well as four analog RCA inputs for your media appliances. AmpliPi key components and features: Controller Board Carrier board fitted with Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ and PCM5102A & CM6206 audio DACs. It also communicates over I2C with the STM32 MCU on the Preamp board (see below) to control the muxing and amplification systems. Interfaces 10/100M Ethernet port HDMI 1.4 output 2x USB 2.0 ports, plus one internal USB port Service and console ports for maintenance and/or debugging. Preamp Board Board equipped with a 6×4 audio matrix switching system and volume control network that is managed by an STM32F030 Arm […]

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iPod Classic given new life with Raspberry Pi Zero W & Spotify

Guy Dupont got a bunch of 2004, fourth-generation iPod Classic MP3 players from his mother-in-law, and instead of playing MP3 files on the media players, he decided to repurpose one with a Raspberry Pi Zero W to be able to stream music from Spotify over WiFi. The resulting project is called sPot (ess-pot), and looks just like an original iPod, but it’s a Linux device that can stream/search via Spotify with a UI written in Python and based on the original iPod experience. But apart from the enclosure, and the original “click wheel” there’s not much left from the original design. Besides the Raspberry Pi Zero W SBC and iPod enclosure, the sPod includesAdafruit Mini LiPoly/LiIon USB Charger and PowerBoost 1000 Basic boards for charging and power management,  a 1,000mah,3.7V rechargeable li-ion battery, vibration motor discs For haptic feedback, a 2-inch Adafruit TFT display, and a few other components, wires, and cables which you can find the project’s page on […]

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K210 AI Accelerator Raspberry Pi pHAT targets secure AIoT projects (Crowdfunding)

Kendryte K210 is a dual-core RISC-V AI processor that was launched in 2018 and found in several smart audio and computer vision solutions. We previously wrote a Getting Started Guide for Grove AI HAT for Raspberry Pi using Arduino and MicroPython, and XaLogic XAPIZ3500 offered an even more compact K210 solution as a Raspberry pi pHAT with Raspberry Pi Zero form factor. The company is now back with another revision of the board called “XaLogic K210 AI accelerator” designed to work with Raspberry Pi Zero and larger boards with the 40-pin connector. K210 AI Accelerator board specifications: SoC – Kendryte K210 dual-core 64-bit RISC-V processor @ 400 MHz with 8MB on-chip RAM, various low-power AI accelerators delivering up to 0.5 TOPS, Host Interface – 40-pin Raspberry Pi header using: SPI @ 40 MHz via Lattice iCE40 FPGA I2C, UART, JTAG, GPIOs signals Security Infineon Trust-M cloud security chip 128-bit AES Accelerator and SHA256 Accelerator on Kendryte K210 SoC Expansion – […]

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DBM10 AI SoC is optimized for battery-powered voice and sensor processing

DSP Group announced DBM10 a low-power AI/ML-enabled dual-core SoC. The SoC is equipped with a DSP (Digital Signal Processor) and a dedicated nNetLite NN (Neural Network) processor that improves voice and sensor processing and ensures low-power consumption when working with sufficient-sized neural networks. Key Specifications of NN Processor Form factor: ~4 mm2  Ultra-low-power inference consumption – ~500 µW (typical) for voice NN algorithms Runs Hello Edge 30-word detection model @ 1 MHz (125 MHz available) Allows porting of large models (10s of megabytes) without significant accuracy loss using model optimization and compression. DBM10 AI SoC uses the combined functioning of machine learning, voice, and sensor parameters. This includes voice trigger (VT), voice authentication (VA), voice command (VC), noise reduction (NR), acoustic echo cancellation (AEC), sound event detection (SED), proximity and gesture detection, sensor data processing, and equalization. The DBM10 is suitable for battery-operated devices like smartphones, tablets, and wearables. It is even suitable for true wireless stereo (TWS) headsets, and […]

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Adafruit Voice Bonnet is meant for DIY Raspberry Pi Smart Speakers

Adafruit Voice Bonnet features two speakers and two mics, that can be used as an audio-voice interface for Raspberry Pi SBC to create a DIY smart speaker or other audio product. The voice bonnet can work with any Raspberry Pi from Pi Zero up to Pi 4, with 40-pin 2 x 20 connector. Two speaker outputs of the voice bonnet have a power rating of 1 Watt. The voice bonnet contains 3.5 mm stereo outputs, headphone stereo, or line-out audio. The Adafruit voice bonnet has an on-board WM8960 low-power stereo codec that uses I2S digital audio for both input and output. The WM8960 codec has a dual analog input, it consists of a left mic and a right mic. The codec integrates a complete microphone interface and a stereo headphone driver. Adafruit says “For DIY speakers, solder any 1W+ speaker to one of these JST 2-PH cables. If you’d like to stack another HAT or bonnet on top, use a […]

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Raspberry Pi gets official IQAudio audio boards, improved industrial support

The Raspberry Pi was envisioned as an inexpensive, yet highly-features platform to teach programming to young kids, but as soon as the board was released in 2012 things quickly got out of control and many people started to use the low-cost SBC in various projects, or just as an XBMC (now Kodi) media center. Over 8 years later, that means 44 percent of Raspberry Pi boards were sold to the industrial/commercial market as opposed to individuals or the education market. Two recent announcements from the Raspberry Pi Foundation / Raspberry Pi Trading highlight the willingness of the organizations to expand the use of their boards to more markets: IQaudio audio boards and a new section of the website specific to industrial support. IQaudio audio boards for Raspberry Pi If you’ve already heard about IQaudio, that’s because the audio boards are not new. They were developed by a company called IQaudio funded in 2015 by Gordon and Sharon Garrity, as well […]

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