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The University of Southampton

Southampton collaboration with Huawei Research to open up world of sound

Published: 3 December 2013

The University of Southampton has announced a new collaboration with one of China's largest telecommunications companies to develop innovative consumer audio technologies.

The joint research project between the University’s world-renowned Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and Huawei, a leading global ICT solutions provider, aims to develop new technologies for terminal products, such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

One of the main research areas will be to create higher-quality 3D sound to match the rapid developments in personalised and interactive audio technologies. Dr Filippo Fazi, Professor Philip Nelson and colleagues from ISVR have developed a super-surround-sound system, by experimenting with a giant sphere that has 40 loudspeakers on its surface, which could produce an experience much more similar to what we hear in the real world.

Dr Fazi says: “It is fantastic that a large global company like Huawei has recognised our global expertise in 3D audio technologies and acoustics. We hope to further develop and improve the sound field technologies that we have established and apply them to the development of products for a global market. This is a valuable collaboration as Huawei’s technology expertise will be extremely beneficial to maximise the impact of our research.”

Professor Philip Nelson, Pro Vice–Chancellor Research at the University of Southampton, adds: “We are delighted that such a significant company in the global telecommunications field is recognising our expertise through the award of this grant and look forward to building on this collaboration”

The three-year project, worth close to £500,000, is the first of its kind in the UK from Huawei’s Innovation Research Program, which was set up in 2010.

Dawei Huo, President of Huawei Central Research Institute, says: “We are excited to work with the ISVR as they are world-renowned in audio research, with very strong research and engineering ability and are open to innovative impact. We look forward to this partnership developing from project level to a long-term strategic partnership with both parties working together.”

The collaboration is part of a £10million investment by Huawei to support research programmes with world-renowned British universities. The significant level of funding has been made available through Huawei’s Innovation Research Program, which extends the company’s long-term focus on research and development into the academic world by forging partnerships with global educational institutions.


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