Qualcomm QCS400 series SoCs launched for smart speakers

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Qualcomm, the leading mobile chipset manufacturer, has launched a new series of chipsets called the QCS400 series. The newly released chipsets are dedicated to smart speakers, soundbars, AV receivers, and digital assistants.

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It features Qualcomm’s AI Engine, improved voice recognition, high quality audio support in the form of Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and aptX, all in a single chip architecture. Along with this, the company also detailed its new Smart Audio 400 platform, which is an end-to-end solutions platform designed to help manufacturers accelerate the development of smart speakers.

At the time of the announcement, Qualcomm has listed four SoCs as part of this new series — QCS403, QCS404, QCS405, and QCS407. The QCS403 is designed for smart speakers and assistants and it will have a dual-core CPU and support up to 12 audio channels.

The QCS404, on the other hand, features a quad-core CPU, specifically designed for smart speakers alone. On the other hand, the QCS405 and QCS407 SoCs come with an AI engine that’s present and is designed for soundbars and AV receivers respectively.

The highlight of the QCS400 series include next-generation Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity with support for Bluetooth 5.1 and 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6. It also supports Zigbee, which is a wireless protocol designed for small networks with low-powered radios.

The top-end chipset in the lineup will be able to handle up to 32 channels of audio processing and support Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Qualcomm DDFA amplifier technology and aptX Adaptive for low-latency streaming. It ia also said to have improved far-field voice recognition. There’s also support for multi-keyword detection and multi-channel echo cancellation.

Apart from the performance, the new chipsets promise better efficiency with support of up to 25x longer standby with voice wake-up and extended battery life compared to the previous technology. On the other hand, the new Smart Audio 400 platform will help smart speaker manufactures develop products quicker, around the new QCS400 SoC.

Manufactures will be able to get their hands on customisable development kit and sample product designs directly from Qualcomm.