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Hisense Selects Synaptics’ DBM10L Processor For First AI-Enabled Always-On Voice Remote Control

Synaptics Incorporated announced that Hisense, a global leader in consumer electronics and home appliances, selected the DBM10L with its dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) to implement the first artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled always-on voice (AOV) remote control unit (RCU), the EFR3B86H. Hisense paired the DBM10L-equipped RCU with its state-of-the-art 65A9H 4K OLED TV, where Synaptics’ high-performance edge-AI processing and low power are vital to ensure the ultimate AOV end-user experience.

“Hisense consistently stays ahead of the curve when it comes to enabling innovative and intuitive features,” said Venkat Kodavati, SVP and Chief Product Officer at Synaptics. “With end users’ increasing reliance upon voice and voice assistants such as Alexa, we are very excited to have worked with them to bring that same experience to TV remote controls. Our collaboration on a high-performance AOV implementation creates the opportunity for remotes to now become a more integral and critical user-engagement platform for the smart home.”

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While a reliable and responsive AOV experience for remote controls is increasingly desirable, it is challenging to execute in battery-driven applications. “This is particularly true in noisy environments as more noise translates to more power consumption to prevent performance degradation,” said Shay Kamin Braun, Director of Product Marketing at Synaptics.

The DBM10L enables a superior AOV user experience that combines high performance with ultra-low power consumption, allowing devices to operate for extended periods using a single pair of AAA batteries. “Along with upcoming innovations such as biometrics for voice authentication for online purchases, AOV remote controls for TVs and other consumer devices can now provide greater convenience for users and higher attachment rates for equipment and service providers,” said Kamin Braun.

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The DBM10L AOV solution

To solve the power consumption challenge while delivering the best performance for AOV applications, Synaptics built an ultra-low-power voice engine around its DBM10L system-on-chip (SoC), which combines the dedicated NPU with a low-power DSP. The solution comprises the DBM10L and proven algorithms for filtering, noise suppression, beamforming, wake word detection, and voice activity detection. Optimizations allow deep neural network (DNN)-based wake-word detection and other edge AI algorithms to run on the DBM10L’s NPU, targeting high performance at ultra-low power with low latency, while different voice and audio processing algorithms run optimally on the integrated low-power DSP.

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