Consumer Electronic Show 2018 has launched off to a great start, showcasing many futuristic devices from different tech giants. The highlight this year is an integration of smart voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant to products like TV’s, AR and even smart speakers along with portable displays.
Following the trend, Qualcomm’s at CES 2018 press event announced its new Smart Audio Platform. This new platform will enable the rapid acceleration and creation of smart speakers in the industry. Smart speaker’s development is more specialized than designing a regular speaker, which prolongs development times and pushes up costs. Qualcomm’s Smart Audio platform is an end-to-end solution for anyone looking to build a smart speaker of their own, including a six-microphone array and far-field voice processing technology. This particular platform will offer support for Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem along with Google Assistant.
The Qualcomm Smart Audio Platform features things like a quad-core ARM A53 processor, Qualcomm’s Hexagon Audio DSP, aptX support, Quick Charge 2.0, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2+, embedded Linux, 6-microphone far-field voice technology, and support for Qualcomm’s multi-room AllPlay. It can even support displays at a 720p resolution (Adreno 304 or 308 GPU) and Google Cast. So the kit has everything one could need, plus Qualcomm has a reference design manufacturers could utilize.
Qualcomm’s platform is certified by Amazon to contain all the building blocks necessary to support Alexa for everything from media streaming to custom skills. Amazon’s Alexa is the first fully certified single vendor end-to-end AVS platform and to be able to combine our proven audio capabilities into a fully integrated smart speaker reference platform with AVS to meet the requirements of customers seeking to rapidly create innovative, voice-controlled smart speakers.
Amazon offers two levels of certification for Alexa. First is just a bare minimum applied to single products that means they technically work with Alexa, but don’t have to support all the features as well. The second qualification tier is much stricter, as it encompasses a wider range of possibilities from reference platforms. Qualcomm’s platform is the first end-to-end solution to achieve this level of certification.
Qualcomm’s certified Smart Audio platform will be available to its partners in Q1 2018. The first consumer products powered by the platform might be introduced by the end of 2018.