Alif, Bosch, Edge Impulse combine for AI sensors

Alif, Bosch, Edge Impulse combine for AI sensors

New Products |
By Peter Clarke

AI-capable microcontroller supplier Alif Semiconductor Inc. (Pleasanton, Calif.) is teaming up with Bosch Sensortec and Edge Impulse to produce motion-sensing reference designs.

Alif provides the microcontrollers, Bosch Sensortec the sensors and Edge Impulse the development platform in support of machine learning.

Alif claims the combination supports the design of precision motion-sensing products while increasing performance, lowering power consumption, and establishing security. The company did not say what benchmark it was comparing against.

Alif said it hopes to sell into applications such as game controllers, predictive maintenance, and the monitoring of industrial machinery and cargo.

Alif and partners are offering reference designs based on the E3 MCU from Alif’s Ensemble family, Bosch Sensortec’s BMI323, Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and Edge Impulse’s development platform for machine learning.

Big-little like

The E3 MCU employs dual processing domains that accelerate machine learning. A high-efficiency processor is set to be always-on at minimum energy consumption while the high-performance processor sleeps until awoken by the first processor. It then executes heavier workloads rapidly and then returns to sleep.

In the reference design the BMI323 IMU feeds precision acceleration and angular rate data to the MCU. Edge Impulse’s platform is used to rapidly train an ML model to identify complex continuous gestures such as multiple characters, symbols, and anomalies in repeating complex movement patterns.

A machine learning model can be created in less than one hour and then deployed to the E3 MCU to detect and identify a complex multi-directional motion pattern and translate it to a symbol. While running, the time to complete the inference operation required to identify the gesture pattern is only 280 microseconds.

“The increase in inference speed directly translates to lower system-level power consumption and could also be used for this kind of solution to operate at significantly higher symbol rates. This opens the door to deploying smart sensors in ways that are not achievable today,” said Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO at Bosch Sensortec, in a statement issued by Alif Semiconductor.

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