The new audio codec LC3/LC3plus was jointly developed by Fraunhofer IIS and Ericsson as a way to solve the key shortcomings of today’s wireless communication platforms. While LC3 is the audio codec for Bluetooth LE Audio, its superset LC3plus is part of the 2019 DECT standard and has been standardized by ETSI. The codec’s operation modes span from medium bit rates for optimal voice transmission to high bit rates for transparent audio streaming services. At the same time, the codec operates at low latency, low computational complexity and low memory footprint. Learn more about LC3/LC3plus and experience a landline phone call powered by LC3plus at the Fraunhofer booth at MWC Barcelona.
Fraunhofer upHear Voice Quality Enhancement enables far-field voice commands and barge‑in during multichannel music playback for smart assistant devices. This software removes interfering sounds captured by the built-in microphones, extracts the user’s voice and cancels out acoustic echoes. The multichannel speech enhancement technology is suitable for a wide range of microphone array geometries built into mobile phones and smart assistant devices, such as smart speakers, soundbars, cameras and TVs, and is optimized for immersive, surround, stereo and mono audio devices. Smart speakers with integrated upHear Voice Quality Enhancement are already available from Yandex and LG.
Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) is the state-of-the-art 3GPP/GSMA speech and audio codec for VoLTE/VoWiFi and Vo5G services. EVS has been launched by operators worldwide, and hundreds of enabled mobile handsets are available on the market. The codec enables phone calls with super-wideband high-quality speech, bringing call fidelity up to the same level as today’s other digital media services – at unmatched low bit rates. Thanks to EVS’s advanced robustness against packet loss, network coverage is considerably enhanced, including indoor coverage.
At MWC Barcelona, we will showcase various mobile use cases with MPEG-H Audio, the system that enables immersive and interactive, customizable sound with enhanced accessibility features such as dialogue enhancement and audio description. Next-Generation Audio is already a reality with MPEG-H, as the system has been on the air 24/7 in South Korea since the launch of its UHDTV system in May 2017. It is also in use for streaming: MPEG-H Audio powers the new 360 Reality Audio immersive music streaming services as its distribution format. The immersive content, available from providers such as Amazon Music HD, Deezer, nugs.net and TIDAL, can be played back on mobile devices (with headphones), soundbars, smart speakers, and also in cars.
Say goodbye to interrupted or buffering audio and video streams: the latest addition to the AAC codec family offers maximum coding efficiency, with a stereo bit rate ranging from 12 kbit/s to 500 kbit/s and above. Combining this with seamless bit rate switching using DASH and HLS, and mandatory MPEG-D DRC loudness and dynamic range control, xHE-AAC is the ideal solution for adaptive audio and video streaming services – whether for movies or music, audiobooks or podcasts, or digital radio broadcasting. xHE-AAC decoding has native support in Android OS 9 and higher, Fire OS 7 and iOS 13. Visitors to Fraunhofer’s booth at MWC Barcelona will be able to experience the benefits of xHE-AAC in video and Internet radio streaming applications.
Satellites enable global connectivity and have the potential to improve 5G availability around the world. Among the applications that particularly benefit from a direct connection between satellites and user equipment (UEs) are, for example: efficient transmission of media content and software updates to many mobile devices simultaneously; sending of updates and alerts to vehicles with 5G modems; and fixed VSAT modems bringing broadband Internet to remote regions.
To make all this possible, we are working to integrate satellite connectivity into the 5G ecosystem. At MWC Barcelona 2020, we will present system concepts for a hybrid 3GPP infrastructure comprising satellite and terrestrial infrastructure as well as initial prototypes for the 5G New Radio communication link over satellites. We will also provide initial insights into the simulation and emulation capabilities for new 5G technologies available at the 5G Bavaria test center at Fraunhofer IIS.
With its 5G Bavaria test bed Industry 4.0, sponsored by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, Fraunhofer IIS provides the space for global players, SMEs and research institutes to apply 5G in industrial and logistics processes under true-to-life conditions. In addition, emulation and simulation of specific 5G technologies can be performed in the related 5G Bavaria test center. Thus, Fraunhofer IIS accompanies you in applying 5G by closing the gap between the completion of a new release in standardization and the availability of standard-conform hardware. As positioning will be an important part of Industry 4.0 applications (e.g. AGV, UAV, mobile Robots, tool tracking) the 5G test bed will be one of the first in the world showing 5G-based industrial communication and real 5G-based positioning in the context of Industry 4.0 application.