The ISD9160, as with several other members of Nuvoton’s ChipCorder line, also allows an array of consumer products to carry branding messages. This enables manufacturers to distinguish their products with high-quality digital playback of audio-grade sound alerts and corporate audio-logo clips.
The ISD9160 incorporates several audio interfaces – microphone, speaker driver and I2S – and eight analog GPIOs for capacitive sensing and analog functions. It also features five power-saving modes that enable the device to operate under differing voltage allowances, making it ideal for portable/battery-powered products. Taking advantage of the Cortex-M0’s processing engine, the ISD9160 also enables applications with CPU-intensive features, such as voice recognition, audio/voice prompting, and extended recording/playback.
The ARM Cortex-M0 in the ISD9160 delivers 32-bit performance and low power consumption, but at a price point closer to that of an 8-bit microcontroller. Its 32-bit architecture enables designers to develop complicated algorithms such as voice recognition, text-to-speech and capacitive sensing – applications that at one time required DSPs and/or other high-end, ARM-based devices.
Nuvoton Technology Corp. 
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Editor