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Product Development Symposium

Interactive Voice and DSP


Friday 16 – 11:00am – 1:00pm EDT

Two 50 Minute Sessions followed by Q&A

Session 1 – 11:00am

Title: Demystifying Beamformers

Presenter: Paul Beckmann, CTO, DSP Concepts, Santa Clara, CA USA 

Session 2 12:00pm

Title: Intelligent Sensing with Piezoelectric Microphones

Presenters: Bobby Littrell, CTO, and Shin Nagpal, Director of Applications, Vesper, Boston, MA 



Session 1 – Demystifying Beamformers 

Lately there has been a resurgence of interest in beamformers following the success of the Amazon Echo.  This talk presents beamformers in a simple-to-understand and straightforward light. You’ll understand how the number of microphones and geometry impacts performance. The importance of microphone matching and SNR, and even how to create steerable arrays. The talk has a minimum of math and an emphasis on practical applications. Although the focus is on audio, the techniques presented extend to other applications such as RF. 

Session 2 Intelligent Sensing with Piezoelectric Microphones 

The demand for on-edge processing and extended battery life for always-listening applications has created a need to move intelligence to the beginning of the audio chain. Processing the audio information in the analog domain before digitization can significantly reduce the power consumption of the entire system, which can only be woken up from a sleep state when an audio event is detected by the intelligent microphone. 

In this workshop, you will learn about the following subtopics:

1) Audio chain for a typical always-on listening application

2) Power Consumption Model Calculation

3) Introducing ZeroPower Listening at the forefront of the audio chain

4) How does Adaptive Intelligence ZPL work?

5) Key Applications for battery-powered on-edge processing 

This workshop is targeted to current and future product managers, engineering managers, acoustic and system engineers, and product marketers. 

Paul Beckmann

CTO, DSP Concepts, Santa Clara, CA USA

Paul has led DSP Concepts since co-founding it in 2003. He is a renowned leader in DSP algorithm design and audio-enabled product development. During 9 years at Bose he developed the first Lifestyle digital home theater product. He was awarded the “Best of What’s New” award from Popular Science for contributions made to the Videostage decoding algorithm and holds numerous signal processing patents. He received his BSEE, MSEE, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and was awarded a Rockwell Fellowship. 

Shin Nagpal

Director of Applications, Vesper, Boston, MA

Shin Nagpal is the Director of Application Solutions at Vesper. He has extensive experience in characterization and application of various sensors like microphones, accelerometers and gyroscopes for consumer and industrial applications. Shin was also part of the team that won the Engineering Team of the Year award for their work in developing intelligent sensors for on-edge processing. Shin has his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is also pursuing his MBA from Babson College in Entrepreneurship. 

Robert Littrell

CTO, Vesper, Boston, MA

Bobby Littrell (CTO, Vesper) is the recognized thought leader in piezoelectric MEMS acoustic transducers, is widely published and holds numerous patent filings in the area. He developed Vesper’s piezoelectric-acoustic MEMS transducer design, based on his PhD thesis at the University of Michigan. Bobby is also a successful entrepreneur. At Vesper, he raised significant funding from NASA, NSF and NIH to perfect his microphone design, supporting the manufacture of several generations of prototype devices. Bobby received both a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a Department of Homeland Security Graduate Research Fellowship. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton. He holds dual MS degrees in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. 

Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., DSP Concepts is the leading provider of audio development tools and IP for creators of audio and voice-enabled products. Its Audio Weaver platform allows developers to easily test and deploy new features through a graphical drag-and-drop interface, and is currently powering over 40M of the world’s best devices for top brands in automotive and consumer products, including Tesla, GoPro, Braun, and Porsche.

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