A 1020-Node Modular Microphone Array and Beamformer for Intelligent Computing Spaces

Unknown author (2004-04-14)

Ubiquitous computing environments are characterized by an unboundedamount of noise and crosstalk. In these environments, traditionalmethods of sound capture are insufficient, and array microphones areneeded in order to obtain a clean recording of desired speech. In thiswork, we have designed, implemented, and tested LOUD, a novel 1020-nodemicrophone array utilizing the Raw tile parallel processorarchitecture for computation. To the best of our knowledge,this is currently the largest microphone array in the world. We haveexplored the uses of the array within ubiquitous computing scenarios byimplementing an acoustic beamforming algorithm for sound sourceamplification in a noisy environment, and have obtained preliminaryresults demonstrating the efficacy of the array. From one to 1020microphones, we have shown a 13.7dB increase in peak SNR on arepresentative utterance, an 87.2% drop in word error rate withinterferer present, and an 89.6% drop in WER without an interferer.