New Low-Power Audio/Sensor SoC from Conexant Brings Voice Control to Battery-Powered Applications

This week at the 2016 International CES, Conexant Systems, Inc. is highlighting their AudioSmart product line of highly efficient, powerful silicon and software solutions that enhance the audio experience for a range of consumer electronics and Smart Home applications. Today, the audio and imaging innovation leader introduced the CX20926, its new low-power, audio/sensor system-on-chip (SoC) designed to allow voice control in battery-powered devices.

Designed with an integrated ARM Cortex-M0+ 32-bit microprocessor, the new low-power, energy-efficient CX20926 features direct sensor interfaces and Conexant's award-winning, high-performance, dual-core 32-bit audio DSP. Optimized for a wide range of voice-enabled, battery-powered applications that include smart voice remote controls, wearables and headsets, the CX20926 enables reduced footprint and lower BOM costs.

The always-connected age has arrived. Consumers are relying on their personal devices and other connected applications now more than ever before. They want a more personal, interactive experience with their devices -- they want to talk to them, and have them listen and respond. From voice-input remotes that wake up with a push of a button to headsets and next-generation smartphones with their increasingly intelligent personal assistants and IoT devices that await your command -- the possibilities are endless.

With consumers relying on battery-powered devices for so many of their everyday tasks, battery drain is a real concern. The use of voice as a means of control requires that these devices are constantly listening for commands and waking up quickly to answer. All of this can put a serious strain on batteries, making reduced power consumption a necessity. With the CX20926, devices are always listening for a wake-up voice command -- while the rest of the device is powered off. The CX20926 executes this in an ultra low-power state, saving battery resources.

In addition to unparalleled low-power voice wake-up capabilities, Conexant has leveraged its unique Smart Source Pickup (SSP) noise suppression algorithm to make the CX20926 even more powerful. Conexant's SSP makes it possible to cut through noise such as playback from the device's speaker and environmental noise, and allows users to be at any angle relative to the product's microphones and still receive clear voice communication and commands. Further, with an ARM M0+ sensor processor, and a direct interface to sensors, the CX20926 is an optimized audio/sensor hub that can combine contextual information from motion sensors with audio information from microphones to provide a compelling audio and voice experience.

"Voice as an interface is a trend that we identified years ago. Since then, our technology has been adopted by major TV, PC, tablet and smartphone manufacturers all over the globe," said Saleel Awsare, Conexant senior vice president and general manager. "Our new chip takes everything we've done for these markets and brings it to low-power, battery-run applications -paving the way for consumers to use their voice to take control of the devices they use most."

Key features include:

  • ARM Cortex-M0+ microprocessor, up to 50MHz operation
  • Conexant's dual-core, 32-bit hardware fixed point DSP, up to 100MHz operation
  • Two stereo PDM digital microphone interfaces
  • I2C sensor interfaces

The AudioSmart CX20926 is available in a 50-QFN package. EVKs will be available to qualified customers and partners in Q1 2016, with budgetary pricing beginning at $3.49 in 10K quantities. Please visit for more details.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:10 pm CDT

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