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Amazon-qualified reference design for Alexa integration

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By Ally Winning

The new reference design can be used to create products using simple microcontrollers (MCUs) that feature Alexa integration.

ST’s Amazon-qualified solution quickens the design of Alexa-enabled appliance controllers. Alexa voice-user-interface software has already been integrated on the design’s STM32* family MCU. The energy-efficient STM32 was developed for low-cost, compact, and simple connected devices that require advanced features.

“We believe the AVS Integration for AWS IoT Core can revolutionize users’ expectations of smart devices by enabling easier access to their powerful features and delivering more rewarding experiences,” said Daniel Colonna, Marketing Director, Microcontroller Division, STMicroelectronics. “Our reference design leverages the inherent strengths of STM32 microcontrollers and the supporting solution to enable cost-efficient products with unbeatable functionality, small size, and fast time to market.”

ST’s AVS Integration for AWS IoT Core reference design consists of a compact 36mm x 65mm main board that combines a high-performance STM32H743 MCU and Wi-Fi module. The design’s STM32 MCU integrates all the required system features, including audio front-end processing, local wake-word detection, communication interfaces, and RAM and Flash memory on a single chip.

The audio front end delivers far-field voice detection with closely spaced microphones. The design was created by ST Authorized Partner DSP Concepts, and will be distributed by ST . The front end comes with a free Audio Weaver tool license to help users easily fine-tune their designs.

“The STM32H7’s combination of large internal RAM and Flash, peripheral integration, and high-speed processor enables TalkTo, our high-performance audio front-end, to drive significantly better performance in real-time,” said Paul Beckmann, DSP Concepts Founder and CTO. “TalkTo is delivered through Audio Weaver, so product makers can quickly design, develop and deploy a wide range of voice-enabled products.”

The reference design hardware includes an audio daughterboard as a separate module. This contains an ST FDA903D audio codec, user LEDs and buttons, and two MP23DB01HP MEMS microphones spaced at 36mm for size-constrained products such as power switched plugs.

The reference design includes fully developed software that provides the features needed to support Alexa products, including:

· Audio-capture software

· Advanced Audio Front End (AFE) with noise reduction, echo cancellation and advanced beam-forming signal processing for far-field audio detection

· Amazon “Alexa” Wake Word

· Connectivity to AWS IoT

· Audio output software

More information

https://blog.st.com/alexa-voice-service/

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