Software brings Amazon Alexa to connected objects

The X-Cube-AVS software package from STMicroelectronics enables Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to run on STM32 microcontrollers This means, simple connected objects such as smart appliances, home-automation devices, and office products, can support advanced conversational user interfaces with Cloud-based intelligence like automatic speech recognition and natural-language understanding.

The expansion package for the STM32Cube software platform, X-Cube-AVS contains ready-to-use libraries and open routines that accelerate porting the AVS software development kit (SDK) to the microcontroller. Application samples are also included. The software abstracts developers from the complex software layers needed to host AVS on an embedded device. STMicroelectronics claims that this is the first package to cater specifically for microcontrollers. In contrast, AVS development usually targets more power-hungry and expensive microprocessors. As a result, X-Cube-AVS makes Alexa technology accessible to a wider spectrum of developers and projects, says STMicroelectronics.

The software handles low-layer communication and connection to AVS servers. It provides application-specific services, and encapsulates the AVS protocol to ease application implementation. Connection management includes a persistent-token mechanism for directly restoring connection losses without repeated user authentication. A software test harness is for endurance testing, which can simulate events such as network disconnection to facilitate robustness testing and validation of the user application.

X-Cube-AVS comes with a demonstration example for the STM32F769 Discovery kit which shows how to connect a simple smart-speaker to AVS, leveraging the board-configuration interface included in the software. X-Cube-AVS can be used with other STM32F7 microcontrollers, or any STM32 device with adequate CPU performance and memory to run the AVS SDK.

X-Cube-AVS is available now to download, free of charge, from the STMicroelectronics website.

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