Renesas and Cyberon add voice to home appliances

  • July 13, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Japanese electronics giant Renesas is working with Taiwanese firm Cyberon to help users add voice recognition technology to home appliances and building and industrial automation.

Cyberon is an embedded speech technology provider. The partnership aims to deliver voice user interfaces (VUIs) for those using Renesas’ RA MCU line. RA users will now have access to Cyberon’s continuous command-based VUI toolchain, enabling them to add voice-recognition to various endpoint applications in home appliances, building automation, industrial automation, wearables and more.

Voice recognition is growing rapidly worldwide, driven by the explosion of IoT applications and the Covid-19 pandemic. Cyberon’s voice-recognition technology has been adopted in millions of devices worldwide.

Renesas is making a voice reference hardware platform to enable rapid prototyping and development of voice interfaces. The hardware platform enables local voice recognition without a network connection using Cyberon’s DSpotter phoneme-based modelling approach that allows quick command customisation with only text input, eliminating the need for massive voice data collection and thereby reducing development costs and time.

DSpotter supports more than 40 languages, empowering users to adopt voice technology on embedded applications worldwide. This VUI technology demonstrates how easy it is to control a system with a simple voice command interface without extensive coding experience or in-house expertise.

“Customers in multiple segments are looking for help to quickly add reliable voice user commands to their products,” said Mohammed Dogar, vice president at Renesas. “Our partnership with Cyberon gives them access to proven voice technology across our entire line of RA MCUs, from entry-line to full-featured devices.”

Alex Liou, vice president of Cyberon, added: “We are honoured to collaborate with Renesas to simplify the development of embedded voice recognition functions. Cyberon’s DSpotter algorithm meets the market’s diverse requirements for both costs and performance. The combination of DSpotter and Renesas’ leading MCU technology enables customers to develop high-performance, reliable and cost-efficient products in a timely manner.”

Voice activity detection (VAD) can reduce power consumption by more than 30%, allowing power-constrained IoT end-point applications to run in always-on mode. Voice audio playback (VAP) enables voice input and voice responses.

There is support for up to two digital microphones and two analogue microphones. External QSPI flash provides the ability to store voice samples and library data. Multiple communications interfaces include a Pmod interface (types 2A, 3A and 6A), USB type-C and micro-B, and on-board Segger J-Link debugger and programmer.

Cyberon, with its headquarter in New Taipei City, is a speech technology provider. Established in 2000, it has experience in speech algorithm and application development. Its speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies have been adopted by IoT devices, home appliances, wearable devices, smart toys, automotive equipment and enterprises. The firm provides a range of voice technology for embedded MCU, DSP, OS platforms and server-based services, and is committed to providing users with natural and convenient human-machine voice interfaces.