Updated On 17 Feb 2022

What Is A Sound Chip?

Typically, a sound chip is a small microchip, AKA integrated circuit(IC), which is designed to execute voice-related functions, such as voice playback, sound recording, speech control, etc.

However, some chips can be integrated with even more functions to make easier the process of engineering development of electronic devices, for example, BlueTooth data transfer, and DSP(Digital Signal Processors) control.

Voice ICs can be classified according to whether the sound data is rewritable into two categories: OTP voice chip and programmable sound chip.

What Is An OTP Voice Chip?

OTP is the abbreviation of One-Time Programmable. The sound data burned in OTP voice chips are not changeable. Manufacturers commonly will help you burn the sound into chips before delivery.

Since the sound data is written into the built-in ROM memory, this kind of sound chip does not need an external flash for restoring the sound, however, its capacity is relatively small, WayTronic WTN6040 can only play 40-second voice(sample rate: 6K), its maximum version WTN6170 in the same WTN6 series has 170-second space for sound.

Projects with a limited budget or restricted room for electronic components are advised to adopt OTP voice chips since they are cheaper and do not need more space for external flash IC.

What Is An Programmable Sound Chip?

Programmable sound chips are the ones with rewritable memory, where music files (mp3, wav, bin, etc.) are commonly stored in. Depending on voice time span or file sizes, the memory can be built-in RAM, external SPI flash ICs, or TF cards.

In practical applications, programmable voice ICs benefits industries that may have to frequently change the voice in sound chips, for instance, bike share products need to renew greeting sound on every public festival

During the prototype period, products-developing companies do not need to order samples from IC suppliers repetitively. With a sound chip programmer which is provided by manufacturers, engineers can burn new music files into chips conveniently. Some professional manufacturers in China can even share host computers for compiling bin files

Tips: a sound chip programmer is a helpful tool for engineering, sometimes, it can also be used for production in small batches.

sound chip programmer
sound chip programmer

What is A Voice IC?

Voice ICs are electronic chips that are designed to execute voice playback or recording primarily.

However, according to data transferring methods and types of music files they support to play, they can also be classified as OTP voice IC, mp3 player chip, Bluetooth audio ic, some advanced types (known as speech control IC) can even implement special commands according to the voice received from human

While OTP types can only read bin files, the mp3 player chip can directly play mp3 files that are stored in TF cards or SPI flash. Projects that have requirements on sound quality are always recommended to adopt mp3 player chips.

Bluetooth audio IC can connect to external devices to receive voice data that is received by the external devices.

What Are The Applications Of Voice IC?

Typically, they can be used in all of the devices that relate to sound or hearing.

Waytronic has successfully developed many voice solutions for our clients, we are authorized to share some information on our blog posts, please refer to links in the following list.

  • Electronic smart biometric door lock
  • Temperature-measuring instruments: such as forehead temperature gun, thermometer, temperature measurement machine, etc.
  • Small household appliances: rice cookers, induction cookers, microwave ovens, electric kettles, etc.
  • Automotive electronics: reversing radar, driving recorder, ETC, etc.
  • Educational toys: cradles, basketball machines, doll machines, CS guns, etc.
  • Massage instruments: eye massager, neck massager, fascia gun, etc.
  • Meal fetching and calling device
  • Smoke alarms, formaldehyde detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, gas alarms, etc.
  • Sphygmomanometer, blood glucose meter, electronic scale, laser therapy instrument, etc.
  • Smart water cups, electronic medicine boxes, electric toothbrushes, etc.
  • Sweepers, mopping machines, sweeping and mopping machines, etc.
  • Voice Recording Pen
  • Shared power bank, laundry box, absorption box, charging pile, etc.
  • Pet supplies: such as pet feeders, cat litter trays, automatic feeders, pet collars, etc.
  • Building intercom, video doorbell, anti-theft alarm, attendance machine, etc.
  • Sports fitness equipment: treadmill, balance car, electric motorcycle
  • Baby monitors, baby monitors, baby cradles, baby monitoring cameras, etc.

How Long Time Span Of Music That Is Supported By Waytronic Voice IC?

The requirements of voice vary in different projects, which results in how we choose to store sound.

Generally, there are 3 options for product-developing engineers

  1. Burn voice into chips directly
  2. Store file in external SPI flash
  3. Save music files in TF cards

Refer to more information in the comparison table below

Time SpanPart NumberTimeMemory
shortWTN6 Series40 – 170 secondsBuilt-in chips
shortWT588F02B170 secondsBuilt-in chips or Flash
moderateWT2003HXA Few hoursSPI Flash
moderateWT588F08A680 secondsBuilt-in chips
longWT2003HA Few hoursTF cards
longWT2605A Few hoursTF cards
longWT200HA Few hoursTF cards

How Does Voice IC Work?

Generally speaking, voice IC works according to commands from MCU (microcontroller unit), which could control voice chips by UART, One-line serial ports, Two-line serial ports, IIC, SPI.

But, sometimes, we can customize its control method, such as buttons or other custom communication protocols, to make the IC execute order correctly.

How Many Periods Does A Voice IC Support?

Theoretically, It can support more than 60 000 periods, but in practical situation, common projects will only use around one to several thousands of periods.

How To Store Music Files In Voice Chips?

Music files are commonly stored in internal memory units of ICs, external SPI flash, or TF cards, but how to transfer those files to the right place can be very different in each project.

Here we can review some of them:

  1. By programmer – programmer is a type of sound module board that is designed to download bin files from host computers, this tool is also used to rewrite bin files during testing stage. Sometimes, some clients will use programmer to burn sound into ICs in small batches production.
  2. By Flash: SPI flash can act as a virtual U disk, you can conveniently copy and past in a PC
  3. TF Cards: TF cards can be recgonized as U disk on a PC, so simply drag sound files into it.
  4. Recording by mic: if the circuit has mic on board, MCU can control voice chip to recording the sound that received by the mic.
  5. Line-in: (for recordable sound chip) if you use Aux line to connect your voice module to other instrument that has micphone, MCU can control voice module to record the sound from Aux line.
  6. Bluetooth: (for recordable sound chip) this process is similar to the mode of Line-in, the only difference is its connecting method is by bluetooth, not by Aux line.
  7. Download By Serial Port: MCU can control the process of downloading files from servers or host computers to chips or its related flash IC by kinds of communication protocol, such as UART, IIC, SPI, etc.

What Are The Typical Pins That Voice ICs Feature?

#1. DIP


#2. SOP 8


#3. SSOP 16 20 24



#4. SOT


#5. QFN


#6. MSOP its appearance is simiar to SOP8


#7. LQFP


How To Program A Sound Chip?

Sound chip manufacturers often provide tools known as programmers for the clients, with this tool, you can simply copy and paste a sound file to the virtual disk on a computer. 

the link shows the detailed step-by-step instruction


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