CSR plc (LSE: CSR; NASDAQ: CSRE) today debuted the CSR8350™, a highly integrated Bluetooth® 4.0 stereo audio solution for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems that brings superior aptX® Bluetooth stereo audio quality to the automotive market for the first time. The CSR8350 is also the first product of its kind to significantly reduce BOM cost and engineering effort by integrating three essential ingredients of a typical auto infotainment head unit: dual-mode Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity, wideband speech (also known as HD voice) with noise and echo cancellation, and on-chip A2DP stream decoding.
“As Bluetooth attachment rates have continued to rise, we’ve clearly seen a need to help our customers optimise their designs and reduce their engineering efforts by integrating the essential related wireless, hands-free calling and audio streaming functions into a single device,” said Thomas Carmody, head of connectivity marketing for CSR. “We have further enhanced this integration by also including our aptX Bluetooth stereo audio codec, a significant milestone for CSR and the automotive industry that brings superior wireless audio quality to in-vehicle systems for the first time.”
Having CSR aptX technology means that people will be able to stream their music stored on smartphones, tablets, music players and other mobile devices into their in-vehicle infotainment systems over Bluetooth connections and enjoy their entertainment with full audio fidelity. Although standard Bluetooth technology offers the ability to stream stereo audio wirelessly, the quality of the bandwidth-constrained audio does not match what consumers have come to expect from their entertainment systems. CSR aptX audio technology solves this problem, enabling CD-quality stereo audio to be streamed wirelessly over Bluetooth connections. As a result, aptX technology has become recognised as the de facto standard for premium quality Bluetooth stereo audio.
The CSR8350’s dual-mode Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity capabilities enable system designers to create new Bluetooth Smart Ready infotainment systems that go beyond traditional hands-free phone and contact sync use cases to also include exciting new applications, such as keyless entry, that can take advantage of concurrent data communication with vehicle sensors, key fobs, switches, remote control devices and other Bluetooth Smart devices.
The CSR8350 includes the latest 7th generation CVC™ algorithm, an automotive grade noise suppression and echo cancellation solution that significantly improves voice recognition and call clarity. Already in use by many of the leading Tier-One suppliers and their OEM customers, including Toyota, the new CVC algorithm adds support for wideband speech, the use of which, according to the GSM Association, continues to grow rapidly, with 45 cellular networks in 35 countries now supporting this new standard. As voice-driven intelligent personal assistants like Apple Siri® and Samsung S Voice® gain in popularity, wideband speech will play an increasingly critical role in enabling greater accuracy and ease of use.
The new on-chip A2DP audio stream decoding integrated into the CSR8350 enables system designers to move this critical but CPU-intensive task off of their application processor. Combined with the on-chip CVC noise suppression and echo cancellation, the CSR8350 eliminates a number of host CPU loading and resource contention issues, and potentially avoids the need for a more powerful and costly processor by freeing up MIPS for other functions.
CSR will be demonstrating this and many other exciting Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart and Wi-Fi® wireless connectivity solutions and its latest location solutions in the CSR booth (Stand 40 and 41) at the Telematics Munich 2012 exhibition.
Availability and Pricing
The CSR8350 advanced Bluetooth® and audio solution for automotive infotainment systems is available now in sample quantities. Fully qualified AEC-Q100 devices are expected to be available in early 2013. Please contact CSR for pricing information.