What is the ReSound Alera Processor Speed?

Jennifer GrothBy Jenny Groth

We were asked this question by a dispenser in reference to Starkey having a 32 bit processor speed.  However, processor speed is not measured in bits. Processor speed would be measured in MHz and it’s really not a terribly relevant piece of information. It is also called the clock frequency. But what is interesting is 1) the computational power, which is indicated in million instructions per second (MIPS), as this tells you about the resources you have for processing – our current system can do 16 MIPS; and even more importantly 2) what you do with that processing power. In other words, what are the actual sound processing algorithms and how elegantly are they written (you could have the same algorithm coded in a way that would use more or less processing resources). The latter is in reality the only thing that makes any difference to end-users.

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4 Responses to What is the ReSound Alera Processor Speed?

  1. Mark says:

    Do you plan on moving to a processor that consumes less power? Anythings that improves battery life on future iterations of Alera would be welcome!

    • gnresound says:

      Yes, each new iteration of the signal processor does focus on increasing its efficiency. The overall power consumption is determined by the hardware but also by what you ask it to do. This includes electroacoustic aspects such as the gain and output, but also the sound processing algorithms, and other functionality such as wireless communication. In developing Alera, it was a great challenge to implement wireless communication in the 2.4 GHz band with realistic battery life for a consumer. Now that the Alera product line is filled out, development efforts are directed to improvements in this area, but these also will allow for even more sophisticated processing and functionality.

  2. Andrew Campbell says:

    Hi there

    Not sure if the question issue of latency is more important here. How much longer does it take for the signal to be processed by the device than it would to bypass the device and hit the eardrum directly.

    Can you shed any light on how this type of ‘processing speed’ in Resound’s most recent devices compare to others?

    Many thanks
    Andrew

    • gnresound says:

      Yes, that is an excellent point. The question of latency is more relevant for the hearing aid user. Manufacturers will tune the demands of signal processing to the capabilities of the processor, so the processor speed per se will not be noticeable to the person using the device. In ReSound hearing instruments, the latency from the time the sound enters the microphone until it reaches the ear canal is frequency dependent, with low frequencies having a longer latency than high frequencies. The latency at 1kHz is about 5 ms with an across frequency range of 3.5 ms, which corresponds well to the mechanical travel time along the cochlear partition for a normal ear for a moderate level input. The fact that the hearing instrument provides this frequency dependent delay is meant to provide some compensation for the amplification, which obscures temporal cues that would be available due to the normal ear for soft and moderate level sounds.

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