18 Jun 2018

World’s fastest 3D microphone array simulation software released

Ploughshare Innovations, the technology transfer organisation for the UK Ministry of Defence, has released the world’s fastest 3D microphone array simulation software to industry.

Based on technology originally developed for the UK Home Office, A3S gives developers the ability to dramatically reduce audio array simulation times, improve the fidelity of results, and increase performance using fewer components.

Significantly decreasing simulation times during product development from eight hours to 30 seconds – a reduction of 99.9 per cent – the A3S system calculates in near real-time the physical configuration of the audio array in order to achieve optimum performance.

Manufacturers will be able to fully exploit the potential of audio arrays, and deliver microphone/speaker-based products, which require fewer audio components, reduce device size and consume less power.

Products will be optimised to be ‘smarter’ as near real-time characterisation allows beamforming to be conducted rapidly to dynamically focus microphones and cancel out noise.

Development costs will also be minimised with less product development time being spent simulating and prototyping arrays, allowing the modelling of more frequencies resulting in a product with greater confidence in its performance, and potentially removing the need for costly redesigns.

Gerry Scott, Commercialisation Manager at Ploughshare Innovations, said: “A common development approach is to deploy multiple microphones and speakers in a product to achieve an acceptable level of performance. However, without full optimisation, they will still under-perform.

“The developers of A3S have proven that simulations can be conducted 1,000 times faster than current approaches, allowing developers to create high performing products with more confidence.

“Reducing the number of components also means that high-end audio products can be created with a smaller form factor and at less overall cost, giving manufacturers potentially significant cost savings. A high-end audio experience will become more widely available to us all.”

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