Epson, Fonix Interact Naturally with Speech Platform for Embedded Systems

9/18/2003 - Fonix(R) Corporation (OTC BB: FNIX), an international provider of leading speech interface solutions, and Seiko Epson Corporation ("Epson"), worldwide provider of information-related equipment, introduce a speech recognition (SR) and text-to-speech (TTS) platform that allows users to interact with embedded systems - simply by speaking naturally.

Electronic devices are becoming more mobile, feature-rich and complex, while becoming ever smaller. This challenges manufacturers to create an effective user-interface to operate these applications. Speech command and control of electronic systems (e.g. car navigation, multi-media, mobile phones or appliances) provides the solution.

"The trends in device markets are driving increasing demand from customers and partners for convenient, natural user-interfaces," says Thomas A. Murdock, Fonix CEO. "Fonix has been ahead of the trends by anticipating need and creating standardized solutions for key markets. Our partnership with Epson makes our solutions market ready for current and future design wins." Fonix anticipates revenue opportunities through generation of royalty fees, product and technology licenses, product sales, non-recurring engineering fees and support agreements.

"The architecture and features of the Epson S1C33 Family make it a perfect match for the Fonix technologies. These two technologies combined provide the best speech solution for a wide variety of embedded devices," says Hirabayashi Yasuhisa, general manager of Seiko Epson IC Marketing Department. "The best speech recognition in the world with the best microcontrollers in their class - Fonix SR and Epson's S1C33 family."

With Fonix speech solutions, you can easily integrate SR and TTS onto embedded products such as:

"This is a strategic market opportunity for Fonix," says Rolf-Juergen Bruess, Fonix International president. "With speech bundled directly on the microcontroller, the development cycle is shortened, which decreases the integration cost and significantly decreases the time-to-market for device manufacturers."

Utilizing Fonix speech solutions, Epson S1C33 32-bit, low-power, high-performance microcontrollers deliver user-independent speech recognition and enable simultaneous speech recognition and voice output (text-to-speech) with as little as 512KB ROM and 1MB RAM. Since no user training is required by the speech recognition, applications can be used out-of-the-box with very high recognition accuracy.

Epson provides a wide variety of application evaluation kits that include an S1C33 development board. The type of board depends upon the chip, which depends upon the desired functions required by the end-user.

Fonix provides an embedded SR/TTS builder, which creates a tiered (tree-like) menu structure that rapidly prototypes a speech recognition menu that can include text-to-speech or wave sound output for prompts and confirmations. Couple this with the recently announced Fonix embedded application solution for Epson S1C33 family of chips, and developers can prototype applications on the PC, download them onto the evaluation board, and test in a matter of minutes.

The S1C33 embedded speech application solution is currently available and may be obtained by contacting a worldwide Epson representative.

32-bit Microcomputers
S1C33 Family is Epson's original 32-bit RISC CPU. The product incorporates peripheral functions in abundance, including rapid DMA, multi-channel SIO, programmable timer, PLL and pre-scaler. Features of fast operation and extremely low power consumption qualify this family for application to OA equipment such as printers and portable equipment, including PDAs and toys. In addition, as this family incorporates A/D converter and PWM timer, its combination with middleware provides digital signal processing such as voice processing.

Epson's S1C33 microcontrollers are optimised for battery-driven applications and feature high-performance operation while maintaining low-power consumption. For multimedia applications, the microcontroller provides DSP functionality using the internal multiplication and accumulation hardware. The built-in 10-bit A/D converter enables the speech recognition and speech synthesis systems.

The development environment for the S1C33 Family includes the Workbench33 (a graphical user interface), a C compiler and Assembler and an In-Circuit-Debugger. Various evaluation and expansion boards for audio in/output, compact flash interfacing, memory extension and debugging are also available.

About Epson
The Epson Group increases its corporate value through its innovative and creative culture. Dedicated to providing its customers with digital image innovation, its main product lines comprise information-related equipment such as printers and projectors, electronic devices including displays, semiconductors and quartz devices, and precision products such as watches. Epson products are known throughout the world for their superior quality, functionality, compactness and energy efficiency.

The Epson Group is a network of 73,797 employees in 114 companies around the world and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and to the communities in which it is located. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corp., which is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Group had consolidated sales of 1,322 billion yen in fiscal 2002.

About Fonix
Fonix Corporation (OTC BB: FNIX) provides speech interface solutions for mobile / wireless devices, computer telephony systems, the assistive market, automobiles and everyday consumer devices. Manufacturers and developers incorporate Fonix technology to provide their customers with an easy, convenient, reliable user experience. Visit for an introduction to Fonix's complete suite of speech solutions, or contact a Fonix representative at (801) 553-6600 and say "Sales."

Fonix is a trademark or registered trademark of Fonix Corporation. Epson is a registered trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation Japan.

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