The smart speaker category is pretty trendy right now thanks to devices like the Google Home and Amazon Echo, and today Qualcomm confirmed that it wants in on the action by announcing a new chip series.
The Qualcomm QCS400 system-on-a-chip series is meant for use in voice-enabled smart home and audio accessories. The chips offer multi-keyword far-field voice pickup with beam-forming and multi-channel echo cancellation which should help your smart speakers to hear your voice commands even when the volume is high.
Portable smart speakers will benefit from the QCS400 series as well thanks to power improvements that support up to 25 times longer standby with voice wakeup.
Qualcomm says the QCS400 chips support 802.11ac Wi-Fi and are 802.11ax-ready while also offering support for Bluetooth 5.1 and apX adaptive audio for low-latency audio streaming throughout your home. And by pairing those Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features with Zigbee support, you'll be able to control smart home devices as well.
There are four variants in the QCS400 series of SoCs. The QCS403 and QCS404 are aimed primarily at smart speakers, offering dual-core and quad-core CPUs, respectively, as well as the aforementioned power improvements, Bluetooth 5.1, Zigbee, and so on. The QCS405 adds in an Adreno GPU with support for displays as well as dual Hexagon DSPs and support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, which make it useful for soundbars and home theater products. Finally, the QCS407 takes all of the QCS405 features and throws in support for up to 32 channels of integrated audio processor, up from the 12 channels on the other QCS400 series chips. Expect to see the QCS407 in AV receivers.
Qualcomm isn't saying when we can expect to see QCS400 series chips in consumer products, so stay tuned.