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Home > News Room > NEC Develops Noise Suppression Technologies for Digital Cameras

NEC Develops Noise Suppression Technologies for Digital Cameras

*** For immediate use November 18, 2009

Tokyo, November 18, 2009 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701), a global leader in networking, communications and information technology, announced today the development of noise suppression technologies for the moving components of mechanical devices.

Specifically, video recording equipment, such as digital cameras, often generates mechanical noise when zooming or auto-focusing. NEC's technologies enable smooth zooming and auto-focusing while minimizing interference from mechanical noise caused by high-speed operation of motors. As a result, it is possible for digital cameras to record video as conveniently as camcorders. Future compact camcorders that feature closely-located microphones and motors are also expected to capitalize on this noise suppression technology for video recording.

In recent years, digital cameras are increasingly used for recording video. However, noise from mechanical components, which is captured by microphones when zooming and auto-focusing, often contaminates the targeted sound. Conventional digital cameras employ expensive silent motors and/or limit the motor operation-speed in order to reduce noise levels. These cameras' drawbacks include slow focus and zoom speeds, which reduces their ability to take quality images of people or objects that are moving quickly.

Camcorders are now facing similar problems as they become more compact, the distance between microphones and motors becomes shorter and microphones detect more noise. Therefore, demand is now increasing for noise suppression technologies that target digital cameras and camcorders.

NEC's noise suppression technologies feature the following:

  1. Reference noise data used for cancelling microphone signal noise
    Reference data for a variety of cameras and lens-actuators are used in order to generate motor and lens noise replicas. The noise replica is then subtracted from recordings as part of enhancing the desired signal.

  2. Noise replica fine-tuned to absorb individual differences among camera motor and lens-actuator characteristics
    Noise suppression accuracy is improved by fine-tuning the noise replica. Fine-tuning is constantly updated in order to meet the distinct characteristics of each camera.

  3. Volume and frequency characteristics used for detection and suppression of intermittent noise
    Intermittent noise by lenses and their tubes, which cannot be suppressed by the (1) and (2) processes above, are automatically detected through increases in noise volume and frequency range, and then suppressed.

Looking forward, NEC aims to continue developing noise suppression technologies and delivering the results to digital camera and camcorder markets throughout the world.

About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is one of the world's leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of a diversified global base of customers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 140,000 people worldwide. For additional information, please visit the NEC website at:

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NEC Press Contact (Japan):

Kosuke Yamauchi
NEC Corporation

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