Edinburgh-based Wolfson Microelectronics has started sampling its first active noise cancellation chip specifically designed for mobile phone applications.
Until now, handset manufacturers have only been able to reduce noise in the transmit path of the mobile phone so that background noise was not transmitted to the other party in the call. However, they have been unable to do anything about the ambient noise levels near the listener’s ear.
Engineers at Wolfson Microelectronics have now solved this problem by developing a new ambient noise cancellation technique.
Complementary to existing transmit path noise cancellation technology, Wolfson’s solution uses active anti-noise to cancel background sound at the handset speaker. The proprietary technique suppresses the background noise around listeners’ ears, enabling them to have a clear telephone conversation even in noisy environments.
‘We are working with a number of manufacturers now and believe handsets containing this advanced technology will be on sale internationally during 2009,’ said David Monteith, VP of business development.