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Ceva Bluebud Streams Wireless Stereo

April 6, 2021

Author: Mike Demler

Ceva’s Bluebud is a turnkey solution for implementing so-called true-wireless-stereo (TWS) earbuds. The intellectual property (IP) supports Bluetooth Classic as well as the new Bluetooth Low Energy Audio (LE Audio) of version 5.2, which the Special Interest Group (SIG) ratified last year. Because earlier Bluetooth specifications only allow pairing of a single transmitter and receiver, the wireless industry adopted the TWS label to describe proprietary techniques that enable two earbuds to deliver stereo audio. The LE Audio standard introduces a new method based on isochronous channels, permitting an audio source to broadcast one or more streams to an unlimited number of receivers.

LE Audio devices can more easily separate left and right channels or simulcast in different languages. Allowing several of them to share the same source enables new applications, such as letting sports-bar patrons choose the game they want to watch, transmitting messages to airline passengers in several languages, and broadcasting audio for a movie or theatrical production to the hearing aids of attendees.

The Bluebud package combines several licensable Ceva cores and a complete software stack. The hardware is a single-core processor that employs the Ceva BX1 hybrid DSP to run the Bluetooth protocol, application code, and audio codecs. Because the processor can run standalone, the host-CPU interface is optional. The DSP works with a baseband controller from the company’s RivieraWaves product line, which supports Bluetooth Classic as well as BLE 5.2. The Bluebud hardware and software IP is now available for licensing.

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