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Speech Synthesizer

  • Jonathan Oxer
  • Hugh Blemings

Abstract

Synthesized speech was, for a long time, the Holy Grail of computing. Back in the 1980s, when a 4MHz CPU made your computer the fastest machine in the neighborhood, it just wasn’t practical for sofware to create intelligible speech. In those days, the only sensible way to generate speech was to offload the task to dedicated hardware because the CPU simply couldn’t keep up. The most widely used speech chip through the 1980s and early 1990s was the famous General Instrument SPO256A-AL2 Allophone Speech Processor. It was used in toys, external speech synthesizer peripherals for desktop computers, industrial control systems, and all sorts of other unexpected places. Then, as CPU power continued to increase rapidly, speech synthesis was moved to being a software function. Nowadays, of course, it is almost always done entirely with software in the main CPU, using only a tiny fraction of the available processing power. As a result the SPO256 became unnecessary, dropped out of production, and became a footnote in the history of technology.

Keywords

Speech Synthesis Input Buffer Intelligible Speech Speech Synthesizer Stereo System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Jonathan Oxer and Hugh Blemings 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Oxer
  • Hugh Blemings

There are no affiliations available

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