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© tamas ambrits dreamstime.com Components | February 23, 2015

NXP and Sonova combine efforts for next-gen hearing care

NXP together with Sonova – a manufacturer of hearing care solutions – have collaboratively developed Venture, a next-gen hearing instrument platform.
Venture features an ultra-low power audio processing IC, incorporating a microcontroller and dual core DSP subsystem, maximising computational power at minimal current consumption. The device’s microphone inputs have a wide dynamic range, key for the device’s sound quality. Wireless audio and data streaming are managed by a separate IC, built around a Near Field Magnetic Induction radio.

“The Venture platform which we’ve jointly developed with NXP, offers twice the processing power and wireless bandwidth of existing solutions, but also reduces battery consumption by over 30%. This allows for the running of complex signal processing algorithms, improving the user hearing experience in terms of sound as well as ease-of-use,” said Andi Vonlanthen, group vice president R&D of Sonova. “One example is our AutoSense Operating System, enabling hearing aids to adapt to changing listening environments seamlessly and automatically, in a way that users perceive as very natural. Working in close partnership with NXP, we have been able to optimize the platform from the system down to transistor level, allowing us to achieve breakthrough performance.”

“We faced a daunting challenge at the start of this program; to double the processing power and wireless bandwidth, while at the same time slashing current consumption and living up to strict form factor constraints. We are proud to, along with the Sonova team, have delivered on our promise,” said Bart De Loore, vice president and GM of NXP’s personal health product line.

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