Auto Electronics

QNX middleware aids hands-free car systems

QNX Software Systems has developed Aviage, acoustic processing middleware intended to improve the quality and reduce the cost of hands-free and voice-activated in-car systems.

Traditionally, hands-free and voice-activated automotive systems have required a dedicated processor to separate voice signals from noise created by traffic, air vents and other sources. The QNX Aviage acoustic processing kit eliminates the need for such hardware, reducing system costs by $10 to $15 per unit, according to QNX automotive business manager Andrew Poliak.

Poliak said Aviage filters out wind, fan and road noise, and eliminates the echo and “screeching feedback” that can occur when the microphone picks up the sound from the car speakers. The QNX middleware also "fills in" the limited bandwidth of cell phone calls, providing richer sound quality and making it easier for the driver to understand the remote party.

Aviage offers a modular library of software algorithms that system designers can use individually or in combination, based on application requirements. Modules include acoustic echo cancellation, noise suppression, automatic gain control, and bandwidth extension, among others. Poliak says Aviage eliminates the lengthy tuning process typically associated with solutions for noise suppression and echo cancellation. “In the past, migrating a solution from one vehicle to another would involve weeks of tweaking and re-tuning,” he said, adding that with the Aviage kit, it typically takes a day or less.

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