At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES, Las Vegas, January
7-10), one of the things NXP will be talking about is our engineering
collaboration with Bose. The arrangement, which makes Bose noise-cancelling
technology more widely available in automobiles, promises to help consumers
satisfy their craving for a quieter car environment.
You probably already know Bose as a leader in acoustics and sound engineering,
and may even own a pair of their noise-cancelling headphones, which have
become essential equipment for air travelers. The Bose technology
deadens the roar of jet engines, so you can enjoy music, watch a movie, or
just have some quiet time to sleep before reaching your destination.
The passenger cabin of an airliner is, by and large, a lot noisier than the
interior cabin of most cars, but noise is still very much a factor in
automobiles. In fact, for some time now, having a quiet interior has been a
defining point for high-end models. One of the things people look for in
luxury cars is how little engine noise they hear in the cabin. The idea is
that no matter what the situation — whether you’re on the
highway or stuck in traffic — the interior remains an oasis of peace
Studies show that we spend more time in our cars than ever before, and having
a quiet driving environment creates a better experience for drivers and
passengers alike. Driving in a noisy car can be distracting, and can even make
driving more dangerous, since exposure to noise can lead to driver fatigue.
Also, having a quiet interior makes the car’s audio system sound
better, and makes it easier to hear and be heard on handsfree phone calls.
Today’s cars are much quieter than their predecessors, but
there’s still room for improvement. In particular, the latest cars have
a variety of systems and components, including high-performance and
high-efficiency powertrains that produce unfamiliar and unpleasant sounds.
Automotive engineers look for ways to refine the sound in the cabin, but this
adds time and cost to the development cycle.
Bose developed Active Sound Management technology as an alternative approach,
drawing from more than 30 years of research in automotive acoustics and noise
cancelling for aviation, military and consumer applications. Unlike
conventional noise-management systems that rely on mechanical solutions, Bose
Active Sound Management uses proprietary signal processing algorithms to
replace heavy, space-consuming parts, such as acoustic insulation, mass
dampers and active exhaust valves.
The Bose algorithm works with the vehicle’s sound system to control
powertain sounds in the cabin. The system continuously receives information
from the engine and, using this information, identifies undesirable engine
noise. The system then generates an acoustically opposite signal that is
reproduced by the audio system’s speakers. The acoustically opposite
sounds cancel each other out, reducing much of the engine noise in the cabin.
The system uses microphones in the cabin to monitor noise and make
adjustments. It all happens continuously and automatically, for a consistently
Active Sound Management is already available in cars with Bose sound system
hardware, including models from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Infiniti. The
Bose/NXP collaboration makes it possible to implement the technology in a
wider range of cars, so consumers looking for a quieter ride will have more
models to choose from.
The Bose/NXP offering adds the Active Sound Management software solution to
the NXP integrated radio tuner SAF775x. The Bose software solution will
operate in any vehicle using a head unit equipped with NXP’s SAF775x
car radio IC, and any sound system that performs in the frequency range
necessary for active noise cancellation.
The SAF775x is a one-chip integrated radio that combines a front-end receiver,
a baseband and audio signal processing onto a single IC. It’s equipped
with a global single tuner for AM/FM radio reception, so it can be used
anywhere in the world. NXP’s audio engineers have already done the work
of optimization and integration, so using the SAF775x makes development
easier, faster and more customizable.
Learn more at CES 2014 (Booth CP9)
If you’d like to learn more about our collaboration with Bose, then
come see us at CES (Booth CP9). We’ll be talking about quieter cars
and, among other things, our connected solutions for home automation, mobile
devices and more. Visit our CES website for more information:
NXP creates Secure Connections for a Smarter World.