Qualcomm announces multiple new audio platforms to support new use cases for next generation of wireless speakers, headphones and hearables

Via Qualcomm News Room

Jun 14, 2017

Unprecedented, Multi-Product Launch Builds on Proven Connectivity and Sound Quality Expertise to Support Growing Demand for High Performance, Low Power Audio Devices


Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), on the eve of its voice and music developer conference today announced major additions to the company’s already broad portfolio of audio system-on-chip (SoCs) platforms. Each of the platforms is individually tailored to support new market demands, with one designed to offer significantly higher processing performance, another that supports flash-programmable memory flexibility at fixed-function ROM price points, and a third solution that supports the development of wired USB-C audio devices designed to deliver superior audio quality. The platforms are also designed for specific applications and use cases, including next generation high performance headsets and speakers, comprehensively featured mid-tier headsets and speakers and wired USB-C headsets.

CSRA68100, the company’s next generation high performance single chip Bluetooth® audio flash-programmable platform designed for premium wireless speakers and headphones, offers four times the DSP processing power of its predecessor, along with a powerful 32-bit dedicated developer application processor. This is designed to provide OEMs with significantly more programming resources and freedom to develop use cases with unique and differentiating features. The highly integrated platform also supports a comprehensive selection of connectivity, system processing, audio processing and power management resources. The platform includes a next generation Audio Development Kit (ADK) ADK6.0 which is designed to provide developers with a suite of Bluetooth SIG qualified applications and profiles, alongside a multi-processor software development environment, tool chain, and audio DSP framework. This new tool kit is intended to simplify and enhance the development experience, accelerating the design of use cases that have multiple functions running simultaneously, with simple switching between functions to create rich end-user experiences.

QCC3XXX is a new family of entry-level, flash-programmable audio SoC platforms at competitive price points for Bluetooth headsets and speakers. These devices support a rich set of features, use cases and customization, supporting OEMs in their development of unique products for market segments which have typically been restricted to fixed function ROM devices. The QCC3XXX family includes eight SoCs – three which support Bluetooth speaker applications, and five which support Bluetooth headset applications. Coupled with our development kit and tools, these devices are designed to provide a flexible platform for designing quality Bluetooth audio products. The QCC3XXX family is designed to provide consumers with access to advanced technologies at some of the most affordable price points for listening devices, including features such as Qualcomm ® aptXTM audio and Qualcomm® cVcTM noise cancellation technology and enhanced Qualcomm TrueWirelessTM Stereo.

“There are seismic shifts taking place in the audio industry as consumers rapidly adopt wireless audio devices, use streaming as their preferred method of listening to music, and demand smaller form factors as well as increased portability from their audio devices. No other company is as uniquely positioned to help drive this evolution as we are,” said Anthony Murray, senior vice president and general manager, Voice and Music, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. “Our audio platforms have been widely proven for more than 15 years working with many of the world’s leading audio brands and our broad range of audio technologies including Qualcomm® aptX™ audio, Qualcomm® cVc™ and Qualcomm TrueWireless™ Stereo have helped to redefine the wireless listening experience. With this expanded portfolio we are helping to meet future industry needs and bring next-generation speakers and headphones to commercialization by supporting crucial enhancements in sound quality, connectivity, processing performance and device size.”

“As the new category of ‘hearables’ emerges, there is a convergence of traditional audio device features with wearable technology in ultra-small form factor devices. Users of these devices want high-quality audio combined with advanced features including sensors for biometrics, voice recognition and support for cloud connected ecosystems, which poses a big challenge for traditional manufacturers,” added Murray. “Hearables users also want all-day performance and battery life from their ear buds and personal assistants. In Q1 2018 we aim to launch a new family of low-power Bluetooth audio SoCs which are highly optimized for intended use in compact, feature rich devices, and are designed to reduce power consumption by more than 50 percent for voice calls and music streaming compared to our existing portfolio.”

At the conference, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. will also introduce its WHS9420 and WHS9410 single chip USB audio SoC platforms designed specifically for USB-C connected audio devices. The USB-C connector is becoming standard on next generation smartphones for charging, but offers the added advantage of supporting high quality digital audio interfaces. As smartphone manufacturers move toward slimmer, monolithic handset designs and start to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack, the USB-C connectors offer an excellent option for those who want to continue to use wired headsets and speakers. These two SoC options are designed to address both the entry level and mid to high end sections of the emerging market. The WHS9420 with integrated ANC supports a superior quality digital audio consumer experience, with up to 192kHz/24-bit audio support over the USB connection and very high quality DAC output. The WHS9410 is an entry level solution designed to bring quality audio performance to lower tier products.

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