Zarlink Simplifies Hands-Free Communication System Design with Expanded Voice Processor Portfolio

    - ZL(TM)38005 platform supports high-quality performance for cost-
      efficient hands-free systems, leading design tools speed evaluation and
      simplify system tuning
    - Zarlink voice processing products to be demonstrated with 5V
      Technologies at VON 2007 with (Booth#839).

    OTTAWA, March 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE/TSX:ZL)
today expanded its family of voice processing solutions with a new device
enabling high-quality voice in cost-efficient hands-free communication
systems, including speakerphones, home automation applications and car kits.
    Available now, the ZL(TM)38005 voice processing platform integrates dual
channel narrowband codecs, on-chip memory, multiple interfaces and advanced
voice processing firmware. Supported by a range of design tools, the voice
processor improves voice quality, minimizes background noise and reduces
system complexity and cost.
    With this new product, Zarlink now offers a complete portfolio of
hands-free voice processing solutions. The new ZL38005 device delivers
high-quality voice processing performance and is an easy-to-implement solution
for mainstream hands-free communication systems. The previously introduced
ZL38004 platform is an enhanced voice processor integrating advanced firmware
and functionality for high-end hands-free communication systems. Zarlink also
offers the lightly featured ZL38002 digital echo canceller for basic
hands-free communication.
    "Zarlink is building on over three decades of proven experience in
telephony, digital signal and voice processing to deliver high-quality voice
performance to hands-free communication applications," said Andrew Faulkner,
product line director, Voice Processing, Zarlink Semiconductor. "Our voice
processing portfolio offers hands-free equipment manufacturers and system
designers a range of solutions with features tailored to their specific
application, design and budget requirements. The programmable nature of our
solutions allows system integrators to easily evolve their hands-free systems
as their end customers' communication needs change."

    Design Tools

    Zarlink's voice processing family is supported by a range of design tools
that remove system-tuning complexity, help speed design time and shorten
time-to-market. Zarlink's design tools include a complete evaluation board,
and a mini-evaluation board that fits directly into a speakerphone plastic
enclosure to provide quick and easy performance testing. Zarlink's diagnostic
tool kit supports simple "plug and test" capabilities to easily measure echo
profile, frequency response and distortion. Zarlink also offers a bluetooth
evaluation kit for advanced hands-free car kits.

    Delivering high-quality hands-free voice

    The ZL38005 hardware platform and integrated ZLS38501 firmware ensure
hands-free voice quality in severe noise conditions. For example, conference
phones must cope with background noise, sound reverberation due to poor
plastic enclosure design and acoustic coupling between the microphone and
speaker. Car kit designers must provide solutions that support high-quality
voice despite severe noise conditions caused by engine, tire and wind noise.
    The ZL38005 platform includes narrowband codecs with input/output
sampling of 8 KHz, and integrated acoustic and line echo cancellers with
programmable echo tail up to 256 ms and noise reduction up to 20 dB.
    The device delivers exceptional performance is double-talk situations.
Most commercial voice processing solutions fall back to half-duplex operation
during double-talk, meaning voice signals pass in only one direction. During
double-talk only the signal with the highest strength is transmitted. This
results in a choppy and unnatural conversation.
    In comparison, Zarlink's ZL38005 voice processor algorithm is able to
continuously converge and track changes in the echo path to support
full-duplex operation. Designed in to hands-free desktop speakerphone, for
example, Zarlink's voice processing solution continuously converges, actively
tracks echo and adapts to the changing echo path. Poorly designed voice
processing solutions will stop tracking echo during double-talk situations. A
lower-quality algorithm will readapt when double-talk ceases, creating an
audible burst of echo.

    Demonstrated at VON

    Zarlink and 5V Technologies, a fabless developer of complete
system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for a range of applications in the broadband
communications market, will be demonstrating a collaborative solution for
IP-based voice equipment and hands-free desktop phones at VON 2007 (March
20-22, San Jose Convention Center, Booth#839). Integrating their respective
expertise in voice processing and microcontroller technologies, this joint
solution ensures high-quality voice performance in IP speakerphones and
reduces design time and complexity.

    Availability and Support

    The ZL38005 voice processing platform is available now in a 14x14 mm,
100-pin lead-free QFP package. For more, visit Complete information on
Zarlink's hands-free voice processing solutions, included detailed data
sheets, is available to qualified customers. To learn how to become a
qualified customer send an email to
Alternatively, contact your local sales representative.

    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: rapid technological developments and changes; our
ability to continue 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; increasing
price and product competition; 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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