The LC3 audio codec is a fundamental part of the new LE Audio specifications that are expected to be released by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in 2020, as part of the new Bluetooth Core Specification Version 5.2. The Fraunhofer IIS is the largest of all Fraunhofer Institutes and is one of the world’s leading application-oriented research institutions for microelectronic and IT system solutions and services. In the area of “Audio and Media Technologies”, the institute has been shaping the digitalization of media for more than 30 years now.
Fraunhofer IIS was instrumental in the development of mp3 and AAC and played a significant role in the digitalization of the cinema. Current developments are pushing new virtual reality, automotive sound systems, mobile telephony, streaming and broadcasting applications with better and more efficient solutions. Audio technologies developed by the institute, including codecs already provide the basis for more than half of all TV broadcasts worldwide and almost all radio and streaming services.
The LC3 codec is a joint development by Fraunhofer IIS and Ericsson and provides high-quality speech and audio, even at low data rates, overcoming essential shortcomings in today’s wireless communication platforms. A reduction of the required bit rate by roughly 50 percent compared to the legacy SBC codec facilitates low-energy audio services – making it possible either to extend products’ battery life or to create smaller devices.
The codec’s complexity meets the requirements of wireless communication platforms and operates at low latency and low memory footprint. Due to the flexible codec design, applications are not limited to voice services but can be extended to high resolution music streaming (up to 24-bit/96kHz at 550kpbs) when implementing the codec’s LC3plus superset.