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 DALLAS, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Three Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) engineers are being honored today by an international professional organization for their invention of the innovative speech technology, and its use in the first talking learning toy, TI's Speak & Spell(TM).
 First offered to the consumer electronics world in 1978, Speak & Spell marked the first time that the human vocal tract had been electronically duplicated on a single chip of silicon and integrated into a low-priced, mass-produced talking electronic product for the general public. Today, the speech technology pioneered by TI's inventors has been enhanced, and is used in all types of electronics products from elevators to answering machines.
 The inventors are being honored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) at the 1993 Conference on Consumer Electronics in Chicago. The Masaru Ibuka Consumer Award, sponsored by the Sony Corporation, will be presented to Dr. Richard H. Wiggins, George L. Brantingham and Paul S. Breedlove for "pioneering contributions to consumer electronics products employing synthetic speech for education and entertainment." Merrill W. Buckley, 1992 president of the IEEE, will present the award in Chicago today.
 Dr. Wiggins and Mr. Brantingham invented the speech synthesis circuit used in Speak & Spell, while Mr. Breedlove originated the concept of a talking learning toy for teaching spelling to children. Dr. Wiggins is currently director, Computer Sciences Laboratory, in Texas Instruments Central Research Lab in Dallas; Brantingham is manager, Consumer Component Design, at TI in Avezzano, Italy. Mr. Breedlove is now director of Technology for CompuAdd Computer Corp. in Austin, Texas.
 Since its introduction, more than two million Speak & Spell units have been sold. The product became a part of Americana when it was featured in the Steven Spielberg film, "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" to help ET phone home.
 "TI's ability to design complex integrated circuits such as the speech monolithic IC used in Speak & Spell, along with our knowledge of speech processing, made the Speak & Spell product possible," explained Mr. Brantingham.
 "TI's continuing years of research and development in speech technology, plus the success of Speak & Spell, have led to TI's success in converting speech technology developed in the lab into useful products and services. TI is successful in businesses which range from speech synthesis chips and digital signal processors (DSPs) to talking educational toys and telecommunications speech services," Wiggins said.
 According to Mr. Breedlove, Speak & Spell's creator, "The technology and the speech chip used in the Speak & Spell were considered revolutionary at the time. It helped lead to the development of today's general-purpose, single-chip integrated digital signal processor (DSP) that is used in a variety of products for a wide range of applications, such as anti-lock braking systems. Millions of commercial products employing successors to TI's original voice output device are now manufactured each year."
 In addition to its product line of speech circuits and DSPs, TI also offers telecommunications and voice verification services for use over telephone networks.
 The success of Speak & Spell led to a full spectrum of electronic educational toys. TI's line of educational products now numbers more than 20. They are developed with educators to address the learning needs of children as they grow through distinct phases of development. Among these products is Super Speak & Spell, an advanced version of the original product, which makes it fun for children six to 12 to build their vocabularies and practice spelling.
 "We have a very innovative line of electronic educational toys that were launched by the original Speak & Spell," said Tracey Rice, group product marketing manager, Educational Products, TI's Consumer Products Division. "We continue to build on the legacy by enhancing and expanding the product line to offer toys for children of all ages -- from infancy through school-age. Today, our products combine the best of technology with the experience of leading educators to offer toys that make learning fun for children."
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 Mr. George L. (Larry) Brantingham received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1972. He joined Texas Instruments in 1973, and has worked as an integrated circuit designer, branch manager, and speech technology manager for TI's Consumer Products. He has also created a speech research group in TI's European Semiconductor Division and created a custom speech IC business in TI's Dallas office. Mr. Brantingham was awarded the title of TI Fellow in 1980. He holds 32 U.S. patents in various consumer IC and systems areas.
 Mr. Paul S. Breedlove received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University in 1963, and an M.S.E.E. from Southern Methodist University in 1967. Mr. Breedlove joined Texas Instruments in 1972, and held a variety of positions including engineering department manager for calculators, learning aids, and personal computers. He was also instrumental in TI's entry into the x86 microprocessor market. Prior to his work at TI, Mr. Breedlove was a design engineer with IBM, Collins Radio Company, and Motorola Semiconductor. At Motorola, he teamed with another engineer to conceive the 6800 microprocessor.
 Dr. Richard H. Wiggins received a B.S. in mathematics from Louisiana State University in 1963, an M.A. from American University in 1966, and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University in 1973. Dr. Wiggins joined Texas Instruments Central Research Laboratories in 1976, and developed the speech analysis and synthesis system for the Speak & Spell learning aid. Since then, he has managed various speech technology groups developing advanced applications in voice recognition and telephone based speech processing applications. Prior to joining TI, he was a mathematician at the National Security Agency, and conducted research at the MITRE Corporation in narrowband voice coding for secure communications.
 The IEEE's annual Technical Field Awards acknowledge outstanding contributions in particular fields of electrical and electronics engineering. IEEE's board of directors named 24 winners for the 1993 awards. In addition to the TI recipients, engineers from Sony received an award for the development of the Walkman. Past winners of the Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award, named after the founder of Sony, include Isamu Washizuka for demonstrating large-size, color LCDs for TV.
 Texas Instruments Incorporated, headquartered in Dallas, is a high- technology company with sales or manufacturing operations in more than 30 countries. TI products and services include semiconductors, defense electronics systems, software productivity tools, printers and notebook computers, custom engineering and manufacturing services, electrical controls, metallurgical materials, and consumer electronics products.
 Speak and Spell is a trademark of Texas Instruments Incorporated./
 /CONTACT: Sheree G. Fitzpatrick, 214-995-2984, or Cathy Sang, 214-917-6432, both of Texas Instruments Incorporated/

CO: Texas Instruments Incorporated ST: Texas IN: CPR SU:

TS -- NY025 -- 6449 06/08/93 10:21 EDT
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Date:Jun 8, 1993

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