October 18, 2007

AMI Semiconductor (AMI) has announced that Two Pi Signal Processing Applications GmbH (Two Pi) has selected the Ezairo 5900 series of integrated circuits and packaged hybrids to further develop its suite of sound processing algorithms for hearing aid devices.

Two Pi’s Direct Hearing software platform is comprised of configurable sound processing algorithm blocks that are selectively assembled to form a customized software suite for sophisticated hearing aids. Already successfully established for AMI’s Orela 4500 series, Direct Hearing has been further enhanced and optimized for the Ezairo 5900 series, according to AMI. Initial benchmarks reportedly have demonstrated the superior performance of Ezairo; the suite’s adaptive feedback canceller delivers up to 19dB of additional stable gain and the Formant Booster speech intelligibility enhancer yields significantly better results.

The Ezairo 5900 series features a 24-bit precision open programmable DSP core combined with a highly reconfigurable HEAR™ accelerator engine. This unique dual-core architecture allows the Direct Hearing suite to run with an optimal balance between performance and power consumption. Ezairo 5900 includes all necessary on-chip peripheral blocks to directly interface with transducers, a battery and controls. AMI reports that these blocks have been crafted for high precision sound throughout the system, offering an exceptional input dynamic range of up to 110dB as well as an audio bandwidth extendable to 16 kHz.  Consequently, Two Pi’s algorithm suite can be crafted to deliver the highest performance, enabling manufacturers to produce hearing aids for use in even the most challenging listening situations, according to AMI.

“Exceptional performance without compromising flexibility or power consumption was our primary focus when we designed the Ezairo 5900 series,” said Michel De Mey, senior director, hearing and audio solutions at AMI. “We are pleased to see Two Pi endorsing this effort and making Ezairo 5900 the reference platform for their next generation algorithm solutions for the hearing aid market.”

“Making the Direct Hearing suite available for Ezairo 5900 and enhancing its features is only the first step,” said Tarik Zukic, Technical Manager at Two Pi. “The additional performance provided by Ezairo is an ideal match for the more sophisticated and feature-rich hearing aids targeted at mild to moderate hearing loss for which we have observed there’s an increasing demand. We are confident this platform will give us the performance required to address these needs.”

Source: AMI Semiconductor