Ceva enhances Edge AI with TinyML NPUs for AIoT devices | Kisaco Research

Ceva enhances Edge AI with TinyML NPUs for AIoT devices

Ceva, the pioneering licensor of silicon and software IP that enables Smart Edge devices to connect, sense, and infer data more reliably and efficiently, announces that it has extended its Ceva-NeuPro family of Edge AI NPUs with the introduction of Ceva-NeuPro-Nano NPUs.

These highly-efficient, self-sufficient NPUs deliver the power, performance, and cost efficiencies needed for semiconductor companies and OEMs to integrate TinyML models into their SoCs for consumer, industrial, and general-purpose AIoT products.

AI to the Internet of Things (IoT). Driven by the increasing demand for efficient and specialised AI solutions in IoT devices, the market for TinyML is growing rapidly. According to research firm ABI Research, by 2030 over 40% of TinyML shipments will be powered by dedicated TinyML hardware rather than all-purpose MCUs. By addressing the specific performance challenges of TinyML, the Ceva-NeuPro-Nano NPUs aim to make AI ubiquitous, economical, and practical for a wide range of use cases, spanning voice, vision, predictive maintenance, and health sensing in consumer and industrial IoT applications.

The new Ceva-NeuPro-Nano Embedded AI NPU architecture is fully programmable and efficiently executes Neural Networks, feature extraction, control code and DSP code, and supports most advanced machine learning data types and operators including native transformer computation, sparsity acceleration, and fast quantisation. This optimised, self-sufficient architecture enables Ceva-NeuPro-Nano NPUs to deliver superior power efficiency, with a smaller silicon footprint, and optimal performance compared to the existing processor solutions used for TinyML workloads which utilise a combination of CPU or DSP with AI accelerator-based architectures. Furthermore, Ceva-NetSqueeze AI compression technology directly processes compressed model weights, without the need for an intermediate decompression stage. This enables the Ceva-NeuPro-Nano NPUs to achieve up to 80% memory footprint reduction, solving a key bottleneck inhibiting the broad adoption of AIoT processors today.

"Ceva-NeuPro-Nano opens exciting opportunities for companies to integrate TinyML applications into low-power IoT SoCs and MCUs and builds on our strategy to empower smart edge devices with advanced connectivity, sensing, and inference capabilities. The Ceva-NeuPro-Nano family of NPUs enables more companies to bring AI to the very edge, resulting in intelligent IoT devices with advanced feature sets that capture more value for our customers," said Chad Lucien, Vice President and General Manager of the Sensors and Audio Business Unit at Ceva. "By leveraging our industry-leading position in wireless IoT connectivity and strong expertise in audio and vision sensing, we are uniquely positioned to help our customers unlock the potential of TinyML to enable innovative solutions that enhance user experiences, improve efficiencies, and contribute to a smarter, more connected world."

According to Paul Schell, Industry Analyst at ABI Research: "Ceva-NeuPro-Nano is a compelling solution for on-device AI in smart edge IoT devices. It addresses the power, performance, and cost requirements to enable always-on use-cases on battery-operated devices integrating voice, vision, and sensing use cases across a wide array of end markets. From TWS earbuds, headsets, wearables, and smart speakers to industrial sensors, smart appliances, home automation devices, cameras, and more, Ceva-NeuPro-Nano enables TinyML in energy constrained AIoT devices."

Source, Electronic Specier. Read the full article here