Broadcom announced that it is offering its BroadVoice family of voice codecs royalty-free and without any licensing fees.

“As a direct response to customer demand for advanced, high-quality voice solutions and development tools”, Broadcom is releasing its wideband and narrowband BroadVoice codecs in both floating-point and fixed-point C code as open source software under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1, as published by the Free Software Foundation.

According to the company, by eliminating the royalties and licensing fees (required by competitive solutions), Broadcom is driving a cost effective transition to HD VoIP applications by enhancing the quality of voice transmissions enabling a higher quality audio experience.

The availability of BroadVoice source code, under an open source software license, provides the industry with maximum flexibility in how it can be deployed and has the potential of addressing a wide range of next generation voice-related applications.

"We are seeing an increase in the number of requests for HD voice support from service providers who want to differentiate their telephony services from their competition. By offering high performance and highly efficient BroadVoice voice codecs royalty-free, we are enabling manufacturers and service providers to transition to HD VoIP as a means to significantly improve their customers’ audio experience,"said Dan Marotta, Senior Vice President & General Manager at Broadcom’s Broadband Communications Group.

Broadcom developed the BroadVoice family of voice codecs with two variants including a 32 kb/s version called BroadVoice32 for wideband (HD) speech sampled at 16 kHz, and a 16 kb/s version called BroadVoice16 for narrowband telephone-bandwidth speech sampled at 8 kHz.

The company claims BroadVoice advanced voice codecs reduce the latency, complexity and bandwidth usage on a wide range of wideband and narrowband voice applications including voice-over-cable, voice-over-DSL, Ethernet IP phones, Wi-Fi VoIP phones and software-based VoIP client solutions. Additionally, for VoIP applications, distortion and echo are also reduced.

BroadVoice is available on Broadcom’s cable, DSL and VoIP system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions.

When standardized by SCTE and ANSI, the BroadVoice16 and BroadVoice32 codecs are called BV16 and BV32, respectively. BV16 is a standard codec in PacketCable 1.5, PacketCable 2.0, ANSI/SCTE 24-21 2006, and ITU-T Recommendation J.161 specifications. BV32 is a standard codec in PacketCable 2.0, ANSI/SCTE 24-23 2007, and ITU-T Recommendation J.361 specifications.

BroadVoice16 and BroadVoice32 have very similar codec structures. Both variants share most of the algorithm modules so when implemented together, substantial code sharing and memory reduction can be achieved.

Now Broadcom is providing both the floating-point and fixed-point C source code of BroadVoice16 and BroadVoice 32 under an open source license (LGPL version 2.1) and on a royalty-free basis.

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