Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

MediaTek kit speeds development for Alexa Voice Service

Steve Rogerson
September 11, 2019

Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek has introduced a development kit for the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) that could help developers build voice-assistant products, reducing development costs and accelerating the integration process for creating products with Alexa built-in.
The MT8516 2-mic kit integrates hardware and software for a wide range of voice assistant devices and audio applications. It features a quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 application processor, operating up to 1.3GHz to process user inputs faster.
The kit has wifi and Bluetooth capabilities built in, and integrates audio front-end and post-processing technologies without any additional cost. With the kit, audio manufacturers can reduce the development time, effort and costs associated with designing and customising smart speaker products.
"As the number-one chip maker for voice assistant devices, MediaTek is at the forefront of the connected device revolution, powering some of the most innovative voice recognition products in homes today," said Jerry Yu, MediaTek senior vice president. "The MT8516 development kit accelerates the development of devices with voice technology, making it easier for developers to bring consumers smart speakers, soundbars and other home appliances with the latest features."
Manufacturers can integrate the MT8516 into a range of smart devices including speakers, sound bars, smart home hubs, industrial applications and smart home appliances. The platform is capable of the following technology components, which are included with the kit:

  • AVS device SDK: With C++-based libraries, manufacturers can design devices that process audio inputs and triggers, establish persistent connections with AVS and handle all Alexa interactions.
  • Amazon multi-room music (MRM): Enables developers to design smart products with MRM so users can enjoy simultaneously streaming music over multiple Alexa built-in devices.
  • MediaTek far-field algorithms: Integrating the algorithms on the application processor saves costs by eliminating the need for an additional digital signal processor. Qualified by Amazon with a two-microphone linear array, MediaTek also offers a four-microphone circular arrangement for added design flexibility.
  • Amazon wake-word engine: Provides robust wake-word recognition in Alexa supported locales.
  • MediaTek PowerAQ: MediaTek's acoustic tuning tool PowerAQ provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface for signal flow design and audio parameter turning.
Amazon has featured the MT8516 reference solution on its developer portal.
MediaTek enables 1.5 billion connected devices a year. It develops systems-on-chip (SoCs) for mobile devices, home entertainment, connectivity and IoT products.