AMBE-3000-HDK™ Hardware Development Kit Featuring the AMBE-3000™ Vocoder Chip

Introduction

The Digital Voice Systems, Inc. (DVSI) AMBE-3000-HDK™ is a comprehensive, evaluation, test and development platform that helps product designers and manufacturing engineers gain experience with low-bitrate vocoders. Based on the AMBE-3000™ series vocoder chips the AMBE-3000-HDK™ is the ideal reference design for evaluation and test of DVSI's vocoder performance. This multipurpose vocoder tool enables users to explore the capabilities and benefits of the AMBE-3000™ low-bitrate vocoder in real-time without investing in large amounts of engineering time and hardware prototypes.


Introduction

The AMBE-3000-HDK™ gives engineers the insight required to efficiently develop their own high performance low-bit-rate narrowband communication systems. The AMBE-3000-HDK™ specifically uses inexpensive widely available circuit components with easily attainable development tools so that designers can understand how to ultimately produce low cost products with a quick time to market.

The heart of AMBE-3000-HDK™ is DVSI's patented AMBE+2 Voice Compression technology. Embedded in the AMBE-3000™ vocoder chip this voice compression is an affordable and power efficient vocoder solution that provides exceptional voice quality at bit rates from 2000 to 9600 bps. Forward Error Correction (FEC) is included to optimize robustness to background noise and channel bit errors. Also, the AMBE-3000™ vocoder chip includes a number of advanced features such as: Voice Activity Detection (VAD), adaptive Comfort Noise Insertion (CNI) and support for DTMF tones. This level of performance has resulted in the successful deployment of wireless communication systems in the most demanding environments.

The AMBE-3000-HDK™ vocoder board is equipped with industry standard connections for fast and easy setup and operation. An RCA jack and a handset connection allow analog voice input/output for encoding/decoding real-time speech. A RS-232 serial port is the data channel that delivers the compressed bit stream between two AMBE-3000-HDK™'s for real-time full duplex communication. With the USB interface users can connect the AMBE-3000-HDK™to a PC, to configure the channel interface, encode (record) an analog input to a compressed data file, and decode (playback) previously encoded files.

There are be a number of ways to configure the AMBE-3000-HDK™ hardware dip switches allow the user to configure one of 48 standard rates control of configuration parameters for maximum flexibility of vocoder features or to choose a rate through the PC interface when the AMBE-3000-HDK™ is attached to a PC via USB. Additionally, the board provides test points for extensive circuit probing and monitoring of data. All these capabilities are ideal for comparing voice quality at various rates, analyzing the compressed voice data I/O stream and understanding interface requirements.

The AMBE-3000-HDK™ provides four basic of modes of operation Loop back, Full Duplex, File I/O and Play/Record Mode: In loop back the user is able to input audio data and hear the encoded /decoded result on the audio out. When running in Full Duplex mode two AMBE-3000-HDK™s are directly connected to each other via the RS-232 channel interface creating a full duplex communication link. File IO: The AMBE-3000-HDK is connected to a PC via USB able user is able to send a PCM file and receive encoded packets back or send previously encoded AMBE-3000™ packets and receive back PCM data: The Play/Record mode allows the user to input audio through the analog interface and record the coded packets on the PC as a file or playback: a previously recoded file and hear decoded audio on the audio interfaces.

The AMBE-3000-HDK™ is a complete hardware and software package solution, with off-the-shelf availability. The development kit includes the evaluation board, schematic details, software routines for the on-board Microcontroller and Programmable Logic Device (user will be free to recompile the AMBE-3000-HDK™ source code to achieve custom configurations), as well as reference circuit designs. Documentation includes the AMBE-3000-HDK™ User's Manual that describes the hardware and software features and a Software Manual to explain details of the included software code.

The AMBE-3000-HDK™ is a cost-effective vehicle that reduces the time and up-front engineering expenses associated with new product development. The value of DVSI's AMBE-3000-HDK™ goes beyond just simple hardware design. The integrated AMBE+2 vocoder technology has been thoroughly evaluated and tested by international manufacturers under various conditions using a variety of languages and has been implemented worldwide. This field proven voice compression technology assures that the developed end product is utilizing the best low-bit-rate high quality vocoder available, leading any communication system to be an overall success.

The AMBE-3000-HDK™ is a complete hardware and software package solution, with off-the-shelf availability. The development kit includes the evaluation board, schematic details, software routines for the on-board Microcontroller and Programmable Logic Device, as well as reference circuit designs. The AMBE-3000-HDK™ provides a cost-effective vehicle that reduces the time and up-front engineering expenses associated with new product development. Once a new product design is complete and manufacturing begins the AMBE-3000-HDK™ can then be used to simulate actual system conditions as a calibrated quality control reference standard.

DVSI Vocoders Interoperable with the AMBE-3000™

AMBE-2000™ Chip Rates YES
AMBE-3000™ Chip Rates YES*
MotoTRBO NO
DMR NO
D-STAR YES
NXDN NO
APCO Project 25 Half Rate NO
APCO Project 25 Full Rate NO
TerreStar NO
MexSat NO
GlobalStar NO
BGAN NO

(* NOTE: The following AMBE-3000™ built-in rates are not supported: 33-37, 47, and 51-55. As a result, MotoTRBO, DMR, dPMR, NXDN and APCO Project 25 Half Rate are not supported as indicted above.)

DVSI's dedicated staff combine years of experience in vocoder technology, with expertise in Digital Signal Processing, computer software generation and hardware development. For more information regarding our high-performance, extremely flexible voice compression solutions, contact DVSI today.



Key benefits of the AMBE-3000-HDK™ Vocoder Board are:

  • Flexible Bit Rate Selection - Real Time, High Quality, Speech Compression Data and FEC rates from 2000 bps to 9600 bps.
  • Straightforward Vocoder Configuration - Set-up via the on-board dip switches and jumpers or USB to PC interface.
  • Full Control of AMBE-3000™ Vocoder Chip advanced capabilities - Soft decision FEC, Voice Activity Detection (VAD), adaptive Comfort Noise Insertion (CNI) and support for DTMF tones.
  • Easy to Duplicate Design - schematic details, example Microcontroller software and reference documentation, provides engineers details for designing custom circuits.
  • Standard RS-232 Asynchronous Interface - provides a Real-time full-duplex communication between two HDK boards
  • Low power requirements - minimizes circuit complexity plus the board can be powered with a 5 Volt DC power adapter or the USB connection to a PC.
  • 16-bit High Performance Codec - provides quality analog audio I/O to an RCA jack (4-wire) and interface and to a handset (2-wire).

 

AMBE-3000-HDK™ Vocoder Board Technical Specifications:

Connections:
Name Type Description
Analog Line In RCA Phono Jack Audio from Mic In
Analog Line Out RCA Phono Jack Audio out to Spkrs / amp
Handset RJ-11 Full Duplex Communication
RS-232 DB-9S Board Status Monitor
RS-232 DB-9S Channel Data
Power:
  Input Voltage 5V DC
Input Current 120 ma
Physical Size:
6.75 X 5.5 inches

 

Accessories Kit 

As a convenience, this kit is equipped with the basic items that simplify getting started with the AMBE-3000-HDK™ Board. The accessories kit includes the following:

 

Item Description
Power Adapter AC to 5 Volt DC
Handset with cord  Connects to RJ11 Connector