Seiko Epson announced on July 31, 2018 "S1C31D50" 32-bit microcomputer equipped with hardware dedicated to audio playback. For hot-water supply remote control, home appliances, fire alarms that issue alerts by voice, for applications that require clear sound output. Sample shipment has already started, sample price is 1050 yen (tax excluded) with the product of package type QFP 15-100. Mass production is scheduled to start within 2018.
In addition to Arm's "Cortex-M0 +", the S1C31D50 is equipped with hardware dedicated to audio playback developed by Seiko Epson "HW Processor". By performing the sound reproduction processing and the memory self-diagnosis by the HW Processor, it is possible to reduce the CPU load.
In speech processing "acquire data from memory and decode it and output speech", it is common to use software or an external speech IC. In the S1C31D50, this series of sound processing is performed by the HW Processor. This makes it possible for the CPU to perform necessary processing such as temperature adjustment of hot water of the water heater, for example, even when the sound is being reproduced.
Seiko Epson said, "The concept of the S1C31D50 is to make the CPU completely free and enable full operation even during audio playback.The customer says," When processing with software, processor operation peaks I heard the problem that the sound may be interrupted by all means when I am getting it. "I wanted to solve those problems." "Originally, we have strengths in signal processing technology for audio, we have created HW Processor by applying that technology" (the company)
The S1C31D50 realizes 2 channels of audio playback function with 1 chip. Because it has 2 channels, you can use one channel for audio and the other for Background Music (BGM). It is also possible to change the playback speed without changing the sound quality.
For the compression of audio data, we used "EOV (Epson Original Voice)" developed independently by Seiko Epson and applied to audio, etc. Compared with ADPCM (Adaptive Differential Pulse Code Modulation) The size of the audio ROM can be reduced to two thirds to one quarter, so it is possible to add sounds of multiple languages or to insert high quality BGM.
With the memory self-diagnosis function, it is possible to detect a failure of the internal RAM, internal flash memory, and external QSPI (Quad SPI) flash memory without using CPU resources.