USA - ClearOne has announced that it has been awarded a new patent relating to beam-forming microphone array Systems (U.S. Patent No. 11,240,597).
The patent, titled Ceiling Tile Beamforming Microphone Array System, claims a ceiling tile microphone array that can be physically separated from the processors running the beam-forming algorithm. One benefit of this separation is that it enables a single computing engine to run multiple beam-forming algorithms for multiple microphone arrays, which can lower the overall system cost compared to an integrated design that is limited to a single computing engine with a single microphone array.
As an example, when a first system is installed, one microphone array may be supported by one remote computing engine running a beam-forming algorithm. Over time, the processing power of computing engines increases for the same price, enabling more microphone arrays to connect to a single computing engine, thereby reducing the cost of multiple beam-forming systems deployed in an organization.
Another benefit of this functional partitioning of the system is that it can extend the useful life of a ceiling tile beam-forming microphone array. When the beam-forming algorithm is performed “off-board” in a separate computing engine, the engine can be upgraded over time to support more advanced beam-forming algorithms without requiring changes to the microphone array.
U.S. Patent No. 11,240,597, which issued on February 1, 2022, demonstrates ClearOne’s investment, strength, and reach in this important technology area. The company’s valuable patent portfolio covers multiple new technologies in the fields of audio and video processing, audio and video streaming, and innovative communication technologies.
Another new patent (U.S. Patent No. 11,240,598) relates to Beamforming Microphone Arrays with Acoustic Echo Cancellation. The patent, titled Band-Limited Beamforming Microphone Array with Acoustic Echo Cancellation, describes, among other things, a microphone array with one set of microphones used for beam-forming, and one or more additional microphones that are not used for beam-forming, but instead are used to augment the audio performance of the microphone array.

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