Zarlink Expands Voice Processing Portfolio by Introducing Voice Messaging and Prompting for Advanced Speakerphones

    - Integrated hardware and firmware voice processing platform reduces
      cost, solves performance and integration issues and simplifies
      speakerphone development

    OTTAWA, Oct. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE/TSX:ZL)
today expanded its hands-free voice processing portfolio with new firmware
that simplifies design, reduces cost and speeds time-to-market for
feature-rich desktop phones and home automation systems.
    The ZLS(TM)38503 firmware supports a range of features, including voice
recording and prompting, dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) receiver, tone
generator, call progress tone detection, and caller ID. The voice messaging
and prompting firmware works with the previously released ZL38004 hardware
platform and ZLS38502 advanced speakerphone firmware to provide a complete
solution. Zarlink's integrated voice processing firmware provides designers
with a 30-40 percent cost-savings compared to using discrete DTMF and caller
ID chips.
    "Zarlink offers customers a complete, advanced voice processing platform
that reduces cost and solves integration issues while enhancing voice quality
in hands-free communication systems," said Andrew Faulkner, director of
Zarlink's Voice Processing product line. "Zarlink's fully integrated hardware
and firmware solution eliminates the need for discrete components and can be
easily upgraded in-field to support future functionality. In comparison,
alternative solutions often require third-party or internally developed
firmware ported to a DSP. This consumes valuable MIPS and adds to development
time, cost and complexity."

    Firmware supporting voice features

    The ZLS38503 firmware supports voice prompting/messaging and signaling
features. Voice prompting asks the user to perform a function, for example to
leave a message after the tone, or provides the user with caller ID
information. The messaging allows the user to leave a message. The signaling
block includes caller ID type 1 detection, DTMF detection, tone generator
(including DTMF generation) and call progress tone detection. Alternative
solutions would require a number of components to support these features.
    An integrated tone generator creates single and dual tones, including
pre-programmed DTMF tones. The tone ringer can generate unique ringer tones
for an electronic ringer. The integrated DTMF receiver detects tones for pass
code entry and message playback on phone systems. In home automation systems,
the DTMF receiver can be used to detect keypad tones to control certain
applications, for example secure door entry.
    Zarlink's ZLS38502 application-specific firmware is a complete package of
noise reduction and echo cancellation algorithms specifically designed to
provide high-end voice quality in a wide range of speakerphone-enabled
systems. The firmware supports full-duplex operation, and integrates
psychoacoustic noise reduction along with acoustic echo cancellation and
equalization. The ZL38004 hands-free voice processing hardware platform
comprises a voice optimized digital signal processor (DSP), integrated memory
and dual high-performance CODECs. Zarlink firmware is loaded onto the hardware
platform via either an external flash memory or through a microprocessor
microport, making the voice processing platform extremely flexible and able to
support customization when required.

    Availability and support

    Zarlink's hands-free voice processing platform is available as a kit to
allow customers to choose from lightly to fully featured hardware options and
application-specific firmware for car kits and speakerphones. Firmware is
royalty free, and is field upgradeable to support future enhancements. For
more information on the ZL38004 hardware platform and firmware options, visit:
    Complete information on Zarlink's hands-free voice processing firmware
and hardware, including detailed data sheets, is available to qualified
customers. To learn how to become a qualified customer contact your local
sales representative.
    Zarlink's voice processing technologies are fully supported by a complete
range of design tools, including evaluation boards, diagnostic tool kits and
reference designs, to remove system-tuning complexity and speed
time-to-market. More information on Zarlink's voice processing technology is
available at

    About Zarlink Semiconductor

    For over 30 years, Zarlink Semiconductor has delivered semiconductor
solutions that drive the capabilities of voice, enterprise, broadband and
wireless communications. The Company's success is built on its technology
strengths including voice and data networks, optoelectronics and ultra
low-power communications. For more information, visit

    Shareholders and other individuals wishing to receive, free of charge,
copies of the reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
and Regulatory Authorities, should visit the Company's web site at or contact Investor Relations.

    Certain statements in this press release constitute forward-looking
statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results,
performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any
future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties and assumptions include,
among others, the following: our dependence on the successful development and
market introduction of new products; our ability to successfully integrate
businesses acquired in the future; our ability to operate profitably and
generate positive cash flows in the future; our dependence on our foundry
suppliers and third-party subcontractors; order cancellations and deferrals by
our customers; and other factors referenced in our Annual Report on Form 20-F.
Investors are encouraged to consider the risks detailed in this filing.

    Zarlink and the Zarlink Semiconductor logo are trademarks of Zarlink
    Semiconductor Inc.

For further information:

For further information: Ed Goffin, Media Relations, (613) 270-7112,; Mike McGinn, Investor Relations, (613) 270-7210,

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