Human Speech: The Alpha and Omega of Signal Processing

May 19th, 2004, 08:00 - 09:00, Grand Salon

Presented by

Dr. Gene Frantz, Principal Fellow, Digital Signal Processing Group, Texas Instruments


In the multi-lingual, multinational, and ever-more-connected world of the 21st century, human speech continues to present signal processing technology with some of its most challenging and rewarding applications. It can at least be argued that the digital-signal processors were born to solve the unique complexities encountered in speech synthesis 25 years ago. Speech recognition remains a major challenge even in the era of Systems on Chip (SoCs) that integrate as many a six DSP cores and advanced algorithms such as hidden-Markov-model-based isolated-word recognizers. The emergence of widespread wireless applications has compounded the challenges for speech technology:

  1. Power consumption has become at least as important as cost and performance goals in mobile designs
  2. Multimedia implementations of third-generation cellular make speech just one of several communication modalities that must be supported
  3. The advent of the world phone concept and phone/PDA convergence has created a substantially more complex environment for speech modeling and the need to handle multiple encoding requirements

This talk will review the progress made over the 25 years a children's toy sparked commercial interest in DSP processors and then look forward to wireless, Internet-enabled applications. Special attention will be paid to semiconductor fabrication technology and how it will enable next-generation solutions.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Gene Frantz, Principal Fellow, Digital Signal Processing Group, Texas Instruments

Gene Frantz is one of the country's foremost experts in digital signal processing. In 2002, he was named TI's Principal Fellow, joining an elite group of technology innovators who have achieved the highest rung on the TI technical ladder. Only four other individuals in TI's history have achieved this honor. As DSP business development manager, Gene is responsible for creating new businesses within TI utilizing digital signal processing technology.

Frantz joined TI's consumer products division in 1974, where he took a leadership role in the development of TI's educational products. He was the program manager for the Speak & Spellâ„¢ learning aid and led the development team for all of the early speech products for TI. In 1984, he transferred to the semiconductor group's DSP department to become the applications manager, and since then he has been recognized as a leader in DSP technology both within TI and throughout the industry.

Frantz received his BSEE from the University of Central Florida in 1971, his MSEE from Southern Methodist University in 1977 and his MBA from Texas Tech University in 1982.

Frantz is a Fellow of the Institution of Electric and Electronics Engineers. He holds more than 30 patents in the area of memories, speech, consumer products and DSP. He has written more than 50 papers and articles and continually presents at universities and conferences worldwide. Frantz is also among DSP experts widely quoted in the media, due to his tremendous knowledge and visionary view of DSP.

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