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Energous teams for free space power to always-on edge AI processors

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty


Energous is working with Syntiant, a provider of deep learning chips to provide wireless power at a distance to edge AI devices and simplify the design of edge AI nodes. 

The two are combining the Energous WattUp wireless power network technology with Syntiant’s Neural Decision Processors (NDPs) for edge artificial intelligence (AI) deployments across a wide range of consumer and industrial use cases, with demonstrations at CES 2022 this week.

California-based Syntiant combines power-efficient silicon with a data platform and training pipeline, providing customers with low-cost deep learning systems. The ultra-low-power NDPs are being designed into earbuds, wearables, medical devices, mobile phones, laptops, smart home appliances, as well as industrial IoT equipment and automobiles.

Unlike passive RF energy harvesting systems that capture ambient energy from the surrounding environment, which typically offer extremely low amounts of power and can be unpredictable in terms of how much power is available, the WattUp PowerBridge transmitter emits conducted RF power in a specific area or direction. This RF-based energy is then harvested by receiving devices. The Energous wireless power networks support “one to many” charging, allowing multiple devices to be simultaneously charged from a single transmitter. It is applicable to a wide range of industries and applications, from drug storage monitors and patient trackers in a healthcare setting, to smoke detectors and motion sensors in a smart home, to fault prevention, temperature and other safety sensors in an industrial environment.

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“Deployment of IoT edge devices for industrial, retail and other applications is expanding as they enable new data processing capabilities,” said Cesar Johnston, CEO of Energous. “With this expansion, however, comes concerns around delivering guaranteed levels of power to these billions of devices that are often significant distances away from a reliable power source. Our collaboration with Syntiant is aimed at addressing this challenge by integrating our WattUp receiver technology with Syntiant’s deep learning technology for edge AI applications, enabling them to harvest RF-based energy from Energous WattUp PowerBridge transmitters.”

“Syntiant’s Neural Decision Processors help reduce infrastructure costs by moving AI processing from the cloud to the edge, reliably, securely and with nominal power consumption,” said Kurt Busch, CEO of Syntiant. “We share a similar perspective with Energous that much of tomorrow’s innovation is happening at the edge, and our collaboration will successfully demonstrate both technologies working together, delivering power where it is not, while providing highly accurate, cloud-free inference across a wide range of consumer and industrial applications.”

energous.com; www.syntiant.com

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