CEVA announced that its RivieraWaves Bluetooth® 5.3 IP family now supports Auracast™ broadcast audio. The technology behind Auracast is LE Audio broadcasting and Auracast is expected to transform the shared audio experience. With Auracast, an audio stream is broadcast over the air by means of Bluetooth Broadcast Isochronous Stream (BIS) packets of compressed audio packets using LC3 codec. Headsets, earbuds, hearing aid devices and other LE Audio enabled devices may receive these BIS packets once synchronized to the BIS stream.
A recently published Bluetooth SIG 2022 market update forecasts that the number of Bluetooth audio streaming device shipments will grow at a 7% CAGR to reach 1.8 billion annual shipments by 2026, with earbud shipments growing 3X in that time.
The intersection of the above market potential and the attractiveness of Auracast broadcast audio presents tremendous opportunities for product companies in the audio space. This post will review the Auracast opportunity and how CEVA’s offerings can help companies get their audio products to market quickly.
Auracast Broadcast Audio
Auracast technology enables an audio source to broadcast an audio stream to an unlimited number of Bluetooth audio sink devices. Bluetooth audio broadcasts can be open, allowing any in-range sink device to participate, or closed, permitting only those sink devices with the correct passkey to participate. Thus, Auracast has the ability to connect an unlimited number of audio devices to a single source, such as a smartphone, laptop, or public access (PA) system.
Bluetooth’s Auracast webpage presents the following high level use cases.
Share Your Audio
Auracast broadcast audio will let you invite others to share in your audio experience, bringing us closer together.
Unmute Your World
Auracast broadcast audio will enable you to fully enjoy televisions in public spaces, unmuting what was once silent and creating a more complete watching experience.
Hear Your Best
Auracast broadcast audio will allow you to hear your best in the places you go and is expected to become the next generation assistive listening technology, improving audio accessibility and promoting better living through better hearing.
The Auracast webpage also enumerates the ease of joining and experiencing an Auracast broadcast. See below.
- Searching: One way to find and join an Auracast™ broadcast will feel very similar to how you search for and connect to Wi-Fi networks today.
- Scanning: A simple scan of a QR code will allow you to join an Auracast™ broadcast effortlessly.
- Tapping: A tap is now all it takes to pay. In much the same way, tap-to-hear could make access to Auracast™ broadcasts quick and easy.
Given the high level use cases and the ease of experiencing Auracast broadcast audio, many innovative use cases and products are expected to arrive. The obvious use cases are hearing flight information at airports, listening to TV in public places, sharing music with friends and assisted listening on hearing devices.
To enjoy the Auracast experience, both the transmitter and the receiver side need to be LE Audio compliant. On the transmit side, modern smartphones will be upgradeable with a software update. Older equipment can be enhanced with an Auracast bridge dongle. Initial consumer products supporting Auracast broadcast audio on the receive side are expected to hit the market by the end of the year.
To benefit from the rapid market growth, a turnkey development platform is needed to meet the aggressive time to market demands.
CEVA Eases Auracast Broadcast Audio Implementation
CEVA provides embedded solutions and a wide range of audio capabilities for building advanced ultra-low-power wireless earbuds and hearing aid devices. The RivieraWaves™ Bluetooth IP family is a comprehensive suite of IPs for embedding Bluetooth 5.3 into a chip. For more details, refer to this page. CEVA’s sensor fusion capabilities help enhance the customer’s integrated audio product, delivering stable audio stream for better hearing experience.
Bluebud IP Platform
CEVA’s Bluebud™ is a self-contained, feature-rich IP platform to streamline the development of True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds, wireless headsets, speakers, smartwatches and smart glasses. Bluebud combines CEVA’s Bluetooth, audio and sensing solutions in a single, integrated solution, along with a comprehensive list of audio codecs, voice processing and motion sensing algorithms.
For more details about the Bluebud Turnkey Bluetooth Audio IP platform, refer to this page.
CEVA is the leading provider of Bluetooth platform IP solutions for integration into SoCs, powering
billions of Bluetooth-enabled devices to date. CEVA offers both Bluetooth LE and Dual Mode IP
platforms, including baseband controller, radio and full software protocol stack, compliant with Bluetooth 5.3, LE Audio and Auracast.