Nordic Semiconductor smart remote control reference design marries unparalleled voice input performance with ultra-low power consumption

The ‘nRFready Smart Remote 3 for nRF52 Series’ is a complete state-of-the-art hardware and software single chip Bluetooth low energy reference design featuring voice input speech recognition control, digital mic option, keyboard matrix, 6-axis motion sensing, multi-touch trackpad, infrared LED, NFC touch-to-pair, and on-board buzzer implementing the Bluetooth low energy Find Me Profile

Nordic Semiconductor today announces the availability of its ‘nRFready Smart Remote 3 for nRF52 Series’ reference design that leverages the class-leading processing power and feature set of Nordic’s latest nRF52832 Bluetooth® low energy System-on-Chip (SoC) to marry unparalleled voice input performance with ultra-low power consumption.

Targeting remote control OEMs/ODMs and manufacturers of smart TVs, set-top boxes, and digital media devices, the reference design is designed to deliver a rich, intuitive, and engaging end-user experience. It features state-of-the-art voice input for speech recognition-driven search and control functions using a pair of PDM microphones employed for echo and noise cancellation. There is also a digital mic input option, 6-axis motion sensor ‘Air-mouse’ for physical gesture control, multi-touch trackpad, a matrix of programmable keyboard buttons, legacy IR hardware support, user-friendly NFC touch-to-pair (future software release), and an on-board buzzer that implements the Bluetooth low energy Find Me Profile.

“With the extra processing performance of the nRF52832 and on-chip PDM support we have been able to extend the audio functionality of our existing nRFready Smart Remote 3 for nRF51 Series reference design to now include two digital microphones and all required signal processing in a single chip implementation for state-of-the-art voice input search and control of home media devices,” comments John Leonard, Product Marketing Manager at Nordic Semiconductor.

“The sheer raw computing power of the nRF52832 combined with its unique set of peripherals has allowed us to optimize every major function of the remote control reference design, and do some really effective audio noise cancellation and associated audio compression on voice data. This includes being able to sample a much cleaner voice signal so the compression can be pushed much further resulting in less on-air data and associated power saving benefits.”

nRFready Smart Remote 3 for nRF52 Series supports a range of popular audio compression formats including Opus, Broadvoice™, and ADPCM. It comes complete with all the necessary embedded software to complete a voice remote control design, including host-side support software for Linux boxes.

Leonard continues: “The embedded software comes with an optional configuration layer [Wizard] leveraging a highly modular format that has refined and simplified the development of every parameter of an advanced Bluetooth low energy remote control down to being as easy as clicking on a list of check box options to minimize time-to-market and unnecessary design risk. This includes large chunk function decisions such as whether to employ a trackpad or motion sensing, down to specifying low-level settings such as Bluetooth low energy connection intervals and connection renegotiation attempts. At the same time all software modules can be tailored and fine-tuned manually by developers should they wish to do so.”

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