Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Microsoft Licenses Global IP Sound (GIPS) for VoIP Quality

Global IP Sound (GIPS) announced an OEM license agreement with Microsoft for its voice processing solutions. GIPS technology is expected to be used with MSN and Microsoft Office Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The GIPS one-end and end-to-end voice quality enhancement software provides capabilities including adaptive jitter buffer and error concealment, high-quality wideband and narrow band codecs, echo cancellers and speech enhancers. The technology provides "better than PSTN voice quality and fidelity" in end-to-end IP communications even under adverse traffic conditions with packet loss.

Global IP Sound, which is based in Stockholm, also supplies its voice quality software to Skype, Ericsson, Nortel, WebEx, Texas Instruments, LongBoard, Inter-tel, PMC-Sierra and others.

  • In January 2005, Global IP Sound (GIPS) released a new Voice Quality Enhancement (VQE) module aimed at controlling issues of echo, background noise, and other voice processing concerns in VoIP. The company said its GIPS VQE 1.0 module combines all of its currently offered speech processing components that pertain to echo and noise reduction. The module handles speech quality issues by canceling acoustic echo, distinguishing between speech and background noise, and then canceling or reducing this noise while maintaining a comfortable listening volume for the best sounding conversation possible. VQE 1.0 includes: Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Acoustic Echo Suppression (AES), Noise Cancellation, Noise Suppression, Voice Activity Detection (VAD), Comfort Noise Generation (CNG), and Automatic Gain Control (AGC). GIPS VQE 1.0 is compatible with software applications such as soft phones, as well as hardware devices like IP phones, and with some modifications, carrier gateways and IADs. The module complies fully with the G.167 standards for acoustic echo cancellation.

  • In August 2004, Global IP Sound announced that CableLabs had specified its voice quality technology as a mandatory codec in its recently released PacketCable 1.1 Audio/Video Codec Specification for multimedia terminal adapters (MTAs) and media gateways. Global IP Sound's iLBC (internet Low-Bitrate Codec) is a 13.3 kb/s and 15.2 kb/s codec that will enable equipment manufacturers to satisfy the PacketCable requirement for toll-grade or superior voice quality in Voice-over-Cable systems. Additional PacketCable 1.1 requirements include support for both 20ms and 30ms frame size modes and multi-vendor support. In addition, GIPS iLBC is already in the final stages of a standardization process as part of the IETF Audio Visual Transport (avt) Working Group. Texas Instruments has been collaborating with Global IP Sound for more than a year on the implementation of iLBC onto TI DSPs. The companies have recently completed successful interoperability testing in preparation for market launch.

  • Also in August 2004, Nortel announced an equity investment in Global IP Sound (GIPS).

  • Instead of using buffers, which can add to latency, Global IP Sound's approach is to encode input speech into a series of sound descriptions that are separately transmitted to build a “sound profile�? that aids in lost packet compensation. The speech quality processing is thereby provided at the edge of the network, rather than at the core. The software can be implemented in IP phones, softphones, media gateways, and wireless VoIP on PDAs.


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