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Features and Benefits
• Includes all the core elements required in a business-grade voice processing platform in one self-contained unit. It has no moving parts, making it cost effective, easy to install, and extremely reliable.
• Offers two or four analog ports and is based on the D/41H voice processing board. This allows for easy installation, scalability to larger port-density systems, and field-proven call processing.
• Contains flash memory, a non-volatile storage technology that doesn't require continuous power or battery backup; offers an economical method for providing dependability at all times.
• Includes two serial ports to streamline the configuration process and allows for remote access and/or direct CTI link to a key system or PBX.
• Contains LED status indicators for each analog port, as well as a customizable LED that can be programmed to signify application status.
• Includes an external power supply enabling quick customization and rapid approval in international markets.
Contains a real-time clock that maintains time and date information when power is lost.
• Includes a "Watch Dog Timer" that allows automatic recovery in the event that the system crashes or becomes unresponsive. The feature restarts the unit in a matter of seconds, making it the most reliable voice mail platform for the small office.
• Voice mail for small and medium-sized businesses
VoiceBrick allows voice mail developers the opportunity to offer a cost-effective, business-grade voice processing platform that addresses the price-sensitive, small-office market. Designed to optimize integration and installation, the product is an open, self-contained unit that enables OEMs to take advantage of this lucrative market. The VoiceBrick provides OEMs with a competitive difference by offering a specific platform addressing the reliability and quality requirements of the small-office market. The feature-rich VoiceBrick is also extremely reliable. It contains flash memory — a non-volatile storage technology that doesn't require continuous power — which offers a cost-effective method for ensuring dependability at all times. In addition, a built-in real-time clock maintains time and date information when power is lost. VoiceBrick also includes a "Watch Dog Timer," the ultimate in application reliability. The timer provides automatic recovery if an application crashes or does not respond. The Watch Dog Timer restarts the unit in a matter of seconds, making the VoiceBrick the most reliable voice mail platform for the small office. Two serial ports are included to streamline the configuration process and provide a remote access and/or direct CTI link to a key system or PBX for remote diagnostics. Dedicated LEDs provide status indication for each analog port, as well as a customizable LED that can be programmed by the application to signify mailbox status or any other application-specific state.
VoiceBrick gives developers a quicker time-to-market and a lower cost of ownership by allowing them to leverage existing voice mail applications. It utilizes the standard Dialogic DOS API that enables existing applications to port from current systems to the Voice-Brick platform, with minimal effort. This also reduces the investment in application maintenance. VoiceBrick runs ROM-DOS, which is designed specifically for embedded computing and voice messaging applications. ROM-DOS is stored in, and runs out of the PC's ROM, giving developers the features of MS-DOS while adding benefits like an automated BUILD configuration utility. For OEMs looking to penetrate the international market, the product includes an external power supply that enables quick customization and makes it easier to obtain international approvals without any added system integration adaptations.
VoiceBrick is equipped with all the features necessary to deliver enterprise-level voice messaging and call processing. Features such as SpringWare, signal and call processing firmware, provide easy feature enhancement and field-proven performance based on over four million installed ports. The product also supports Caller ID capability for "screen pop" applications and tone set files generated by PBXpert, a free tone characterization utility that simplifies switch integration. For countries with limited touchtone telephone service, VoiceBrick can be ordered with Global DPD, pulse-to-tone conversion software.
The VoiceBrick supports two or four voice lines, each having a voice processing resource with an analog loop start trunk interface. RJ-11 jacks are used for connection to the voice lines. Each line has an associated status light that indicates hook-switch and ring states.
The VoiceBrick contains two standard serial communication ports (COM1 and COM2) that can be used to program the VoiceBrick or to communicate with a PC, PBX, or other device.
COM1 Serial Port
COM1 can be used in any way that a standard serial port can be used. For example, it can be connected to a PBX computer telephony integration (CTI) port for integrating special features supported by the PBX, such as stutter dial tone for message waiting.
COM2 Serial Port
The COM2 serial port is intended for VoiceBrick maintenance (file transfer and program execution) both during application development and after deployment. This allows easy maintenance with a laptop computer or from a PC at a remote site (via modem). For example, a technician at a remote site can upgrade a VoiceBrick via modem with a newer version of application software, Dialogic firmware, and driver; or the technician can download log files from the VoiceBrick for analysis.
The VoiceBrick MiniBIOS has been customized to support console I/O via the COM2 serial port, which can be connected to a PC console or dumb terminal.
The COM2 port is set to use following communication parameters by default:
• 115,200 b/s
• 8 data bits
• 1 stop bit
• parity none
• flow control none
Communication with a PC Console — You must use a standard null modem cable for connecting the VoiceBrick COM2 port to a PC console for keyboard and video I/O.
Modem Communication to a Remote Site — When a modem serial port is connected directly to the VoiceBrick COM2 port, the modem port must be set to 115,200 b/s. The VoiceBrick start-up (or boot) menu will then be transmitted through the modem connection. You must also use a standard modem cable when attaching a modem to the VoiceBrick.
The VoiceBrick is supported by the Dialogic VoiceBrick Development Package and the Datalight Development Environment ROM-DOS software. These packages contain tools, such as demo programs, for developing complex multi-channel applications.
The VoiceBrick is a stand-alone two- or four-port, solid-state analog voice messaging platform. It is designed to meet the needs of the small-office voice messaging market by eliminating the need for a personal computer host. The VoiceBrick is an innovative integration of the Dialogic high-performance D/41H voice processing board, a single-board 486 microcomputer, and CompactFlash technology for non-volatile memory storage. This full-featured platform is enclosed in a compact and easily installed plastic enclosure.
A 486/25 single-board microcomputer was designed to provide host functionality for the voice processing hardware. Both the micro-computer and the voice processing hardware were integrated onto a single board, creating a complete standalone solution. This architecture is supported by an embedded DOS product from Datalight called ROM-DOS, providing a complete, business-grade, voice processing platform capable of supporting a single messaging application.
The VoiceBrick platform has no moving parts, no batteries to install, and requires no hardware configuration and setting/selecting of IRQs. The VoiceBrick employs a solid-state CompactFlash data storage device that uses non-volatile, semiconductor, read/write storage technology. The flash drive has a very high data integrity with automatic bad-spot management, sparing, and full error correc-tion (ECC), for high reliability. The flash drive is fast, noiseless, light. and rugged, and it operates in the VoiceBrick as an industry standard Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) hard disk. It uses the same 512-byte sector size employed in all PC hard disk drives and emulates the disk drive file structure. The operating speed of the flash drive does not decrease as data is stored on the drive; nor does disk fragmentation occur. The flash drive is used for prompt, message, and application program storage and comes preformatted. It is factory installed with all essential ROM-DOS and Dialogic programs. Various flash drive capacities are available, and larger capaci-ties can be accommodated as they become available in the market.
The VoiceBrick is factory installed with Datalight's ROM-DOS version 6.22 and a customized MiniBIOS that handles many of the I/O functions via the COM2 serial port, which can be connected to a PC console or a dumb terminal. Both the VoiceBrick serial communication ports can be used to program the VoiceBrick or to communicate with a PC, PBX, or other device. These serial ports operate at 115 kb/s.
The voice processing portion of the VoiceBrick builds on the patented Dialogic dual-processor architecture that combines the signal processing capabilities of a DSP with the decision-making and data movement functionality of a general-purpose control microprocessor. This dual processor approach off-loads many low-level decision-making tasks from the host computer and thus enables easier development of more powerful applications. This architecture handles real-time events, manages data flow to the host PC for faster system response time, reduces host PC processing demands, processes DTMF and telephony signaling, and frees the DSP to perform signal processing on incoming calls.
Each of the analog loop-start interfaces receives analog voice and telephony signaling information from the telephone network. The telephone line interface uses reliable, solid-state hook switches (no mechanical contacts), and FCC-part 68 class B ring detection circuitry. The VoiceBrick analog interface also incorporates circuitry that protects against high-voltage spikes and adverse network conditions, allowing applications to go off-hook any time during ring cadence, without damaging the board.
The telephone interface for the VoiceBrick includes an on-hook audio path that detects Caller ID information. Depending on the level of service offered by the local telephone provider, Caller ID can include the date, time, caller's telephone number, and (in some enhanced environments) the name of the person calling. The on-hook audio path can also detect touch tones while the line is on-hook. This capability lets the board operate behind PBXs that require on-hook touch tone detection for signaling.
Inbound telephony signaling (ring detection and loop current detection) are conditioned by the line interface and routed via a control bus to the control processor. The control processor responds to these signals, informs the application of telephony signaling status, and instructs the line interface to transmit outbound signals (on-hook/off-hook) to the telephone network.
The audio voice signal from the network is bandpass filtered and conditioned by the line interface and then applied to a COder/DECoder (CODEC) circuit. The CODEC filters, samples and digitizes the inbound analog audio signal and passes this digitized audio signal to an Onyx DSP.
Based on SpringWare technology, the voice processing engine performs the following signal analysis and operations on this incoming data:
• uses automatic gain control (AGC) to compensate for variations in the level of the incoming audio signal. The VoiceBrick also includes special circuitry to detect and amplify extremely weak line signals caused by poor telephone line conditions or back-to-back local loops often found in toll-free (800/888)-service environments.
• applies a high compression, low bit-rate voice coder algorithm to compress the digitized voice and save disk storage space
• plays and records audio files on the VoiceBrick using the low bit-rate voice coder
• detects the presence of tones - DTMF, MF, or an application defined single- or dual-frequency tone
• uses silence detection to determine whether the line is quiet and the caller is not responding
For outbound data, the DSP performs the following operations:
• expands stored, compressed audio data for playback
• adjusts the volume of playback, based on application or user request
• generates tones - DTMF, MF, or any application-defined general-purpose tone
The dual-processor combination also performs outbound dialing and call progress monitoring.
• transmits an off-hook signal to the telephone network
• dials out (makes an outbound call)
• monitors and reports results: line busy or congested; operator intercept; ring, no answer; or if the call is answered, whether answered by a person, an answering machine, a facsimile machine, or a modem.
A number of additional features are supported on the VoiceBrick.
• File transfer between PCs via communication programs supporting the XMODEM, YMODEM, and ZMODEM protocols
— The VoiceBrick ships with a ZMODEM utility program supporting high throughput, error detection, partial download recovery, and multiple file transfers
• Terminal emulation through third-party vendors such as HyperTerminal(r), which is shipped with Windows(r) 95 and Windows NT(r).
The VoiceBrick includes VMX patent indemnification. Syntellect patent indemnification can be obtained from Dialogic.
When recording speech, the DSP works hand in hand with the flash ROM to provide the best speech quality and most efficient storage. The digitizing rate is 8kHz and requires far less data storage capacity than Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) or Adaptive Differential Pulse Code Modulation (ADPCM) files when recording audio files on the VoiceBrick.
When replaying a stored file, the microprocessor receives the voice information from the embedded PC and passes it to the DSP, which converts the file into digitized voice. The DSP sends the digitized voice to the CODEC to be converted into analog voice and then to the line interface for transmission to the telephone network.
The on-board microprocessor controls all operations of the VoiceBrick via a local bus, and interprets and executes commands from the embedded 486. This microprocessor handles real-time events, manages data flow to the embedded host PC to provide faster system response time, reduces PC host processing demands, processes DTMF and telephony signaling before passing them to the application, and frees the DSP to perform signal processing. Communications between this microprocessor and the host PC is via the shared RAM which acts as an input/output buffer and thus increases the efficiency of disk file transfers.
When the system is initialized, SpringWare firmware is downloaded from the host PC to the on-board code/data RAM and DSP RAM to control all board operations. This downloadable firmware gives the VoiceBrick all of its intelligence, and enables easy feature enhancement and upgrades.