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QuickLogic Gives IoT Sensors a Brain

May 29, 2018

Author: Mike Demler

Thanks to QuickLogic and its partners, dumb IoT sensors needn’t go off to see the wizard for a brain. Working with three other vendors, it designed the QuickAI hardware-development kit (HDK): a PCB that measures 2.35" x 1.35" and integrates the company’s EOS-S3 sensor hub with two neural-network chips. By offering the integrated prototyping platform, QuickLogic aims to develop an ecosystem based on its embedded-FPGA chips. The kit eases hardware/software prototyping and algorithm development, targeting real-time gesture, object, speech, and other pattern recognition in low-power IoT end points.

The company introduced the EOS-S3 in 2015, but to build QuickAI, it added hardware and software components from General Vision, Nepes, and SensiML. The HDK includes accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer sensors along with two pulse-data-modulated (PDM) microphones, a Nordic Bluetooth Low Energy radio, and a 32Mb Macronix NOR flash memory.

QuickAI’s brain is the NeuroMem NM500 neural engine. Although General Vision designed NeuroMem, it licensed Nepes (a Korean chip-packaging provider) to manufacture it in 110nm CMOS technology. SensiML, a spinoff from Intel’s Curie project, offers software that preprocesses input data from sensors, running feature-extraction algorithms on the EOS-S3 embedded DSP and FPGA cores. QuickLogic is sampling the QuickAI HDK now and plans a general release by the end of 2Q18.

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