Fraunhofer Promotes SDK for 'Full' HD Voice AAC Codec

By Doug Mohney November 14, 2012

As the world moves to HD voice, Fraunhofer IIS continues its campaign to be the best (and last) HD voice codec anyone ever needs. The non-profit organization is promoting the availability of its Full-HD Voice AAC-ELD codec SDK as it prepares for CES 2013 this January.

Full HD voice ELD (Enhanced Low Delay) is natively supported in Apple iOS and Android, as well as OSX, with the FDK Codec library starting support at Android 4.1 and iOS 4.0. The Fraunhofer codec is already widely incorporated in professional video conference systems as well as Apple's FaceTime video chat application.   It is also promoting use of the codec for incorporation into Internet-connected "smart TV" devices for audio and video conferencing.

Fraunhofer's big pitch for AAC-ELD use is it delivers full audio bandwidth up to 20 kHz, giving voice, music and background sounds equal treatment. In comparison, a stock narrowband PSTN call delivers audio bandwidth of 3.4 kHz while the de facto mobile and broadband HD voice codecs – AMR-WB and G.722 – deliver seven kHz of sound. 

Needless to say, Fraunhofer is promoting AAC-ELD for the long term against two different competitors. In the mobile telephony space, AMR-WB has established itself as the go-to codec for HD voice and has the backing of mobile carriers and telecommunications equipment vendors.  Opus has established itself as an open-source IETF standard and has widespread developer enthusiasm because it’s license free and easily dropped into existing soft client applications.

Against AMR-WB, AAC-ELD delivers what the organization calls "CD-like" sound quality. Device manufacturers – be they Apple or Android smartphones or tablets – have already paid licenses for the AAC codecs, so there's no additional licenses cost to implement Fraunhofer's codec in an IP environment for voice or video. The catch is getting service providers to either directly endorse and support the codec for phone calls or to move to a more open SIP architecture for calls where end-points negotiate the "best" codec. Right now, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) uses AMR-WB as its default codec as do HD voice calls over HSPA networks – and that's it.

Opus has a running start since it is effectively "free" to use. A number of soft client developers have embraced it with the big question in the room being if Microsoft decides to swing its full weight behind the codec .   Microsoft might like the idea of a single codec to be used across all of its platforms, allowing it to ultimately shift away from its proprietary RTAudio codec and standardize on HD voice code in consumer and business sectors.

Don't expect to see winners overnight. The world is just starting to move firmly into HD voice with the decades old G.722 and AMR-WB, so a move to "Full HD" and Opus will take years.




Edited by Jamie Epstein

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

4 Biohacking Facts You Should Know About in 2017

By: Special Guest    8/18/2017

When it comes to biohacking, a more recent development in science, it involves combining the idea of hacking with biology. In today's world, biohackin…

Read More

Rest Your Weary Fingers: Voice Activation is Coming to a CRM Near You

By: Special Guest    8/9/2017

We spend a lot of time talking to our gadgets these days. Whether we're seeking directions from Siri or weather updates from Alexa, speech is quickly …

Read More

Kevin Kennedy Stepping Down, Will New Leadership Help Guide Avaya Back into Prominence?

By: Erik Linask    8/7/2017

After more than eight years as Avaya's chief executive, Kevin Kennedy will be stepping down from that role as of October 1, 2017. He'll be replaced by…

Read More

Micro-CT Scans Allow Researchers to Study Live Insects in 3D

By: Kayla Matthews    8/7/2017

The things we don't know about the natural world could fill textbooks. That's why excitement is the most appropriate response when we discover new way…

Read More

Gogo Making Air Travel More Productive

By: Erik Linask    8/4/2017

Gogo created tremendous hype when it first enabled in-flight connectivity on American Airlines, back in 2008. But, anyone who has used in-flight Wi-Fi…

Read More