Qualcomm AI platform is launchpad for ‘new world’ of smart IoT devices
The Qualcomm Vision Intelligence Platform features the new SoCs, which use advanced 10nm FinFET process technology, as well as the company’s most advanced image sensor processor and digital signal processor (DSP) to date. In addition, the company says, the platform also features cutting-edge CPU, GPU, camera processing software, connectivity, and security.
The QCS605 and QCS603 SoCs are engineered for on-device camera processing and machine learning, with a claimed exceptional power and thermal efficiency, across a wide range of IoT applications. They integrate Qualcomm Technologies’ most advanced image signal processor to date – a dual 14-bit Qualcomm Spectra 270 ISP supporting dual 16 megapixels sensors – and the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine, along with a heterogeneous compute architecture including an ARM-based multicore CPU, vector processor, and GPU.
The platform also includes Qualcomm Technologies’ advanced camera processing software, machine learning and computer vision software development kits (SDKs), as well as the company’s connectivity and security technologies. It is optimized to support new possibilities for industrial and consumer smart security cameras, sports cameras, wearable cameras, virtual reality (VR) 360 and 180 cameras, robotics, smart displays, and more, the company says.
“Our goal is to make IoT devices significantly smarter as we help customers bring powerful on-device intelligence, camera processing, and security,” says Joseph Bousaba, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “AI is already enabling cameras with object detection, tracking, classification and facial recognition, robots that avoid obstacles autonomously, and action cameras that learn and generate a video summary of your latest adventure, but this is really just the beginning.”
“The Qualcomm Vision Intelligence Platform is the culmination of years of advanced research and development that brings together breakthrough advancements in camera, on-device AI, and heterogeneous computing,” says Bousaba. “The platform is a premier launchpad for manufacturers and developers to create a new world of intelligent IoT devices.”
With the Qualcomm AI Engine and Snapdragon NPE software framework, the Vision Intelligence Platform delivers up to 2.1 TOPS of compute performance for deep neural network inferences, the company says. The Qualcomm AI Engine includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) software framework, which includes analysis, optimization, and debugging tools for developments using Tensorflow, Caffe, and Caffe2 frameworks, Open Neural Network Exchange interchange format, as well as Android Neural Networks API and Qualcomm® Hexagon Neural Network library.
The platform supports up to 4K video resolution at 60 frames per second (fps), or 5.7K at 30 fps, as well as multiple concurrent video streams at lower resolutions. It includes advanced vision processing capabilities necessary for IoT segments such as staggered HDR to prevent the “ghost” effect in high-dynamic range video, advanced electronic image stabilization, de-warp, de-noise, chromatic aberration correction, and motion compensated temporal filters in hardware.
The platform’s QCS605 heterogeneous computing architecture features eight Qualcomm Kryo 360 CPU cores, the Qualcomm Adreno 615 GPU and Hexagon 685 Vector Processor. Its integrated display processor enables a range of display options up to WQHD resolution touch display with hardware accelerated composition, 3D overlays, and support for the major graphics APIs. The architecture supports various high-level operating systems – engineered to allow developers and manufacturers to easily build differentiating features into their solutions such as on-device stitching for VR 360 cameras, autonomous robot navigation and obstacle avoidance, and video summarization for action cameras.
The platform supports up to 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO and dual band simultaneous transmission, Bluetooth 5.1, Qualcomm 3D Audio Suite, Qualcomm Aqstic Audio Technologies and Qualcomm aptX Audio. It also features Qualcomm Noise and Echo Cancellation, as well as advanced on-device audio analytics and processing features to support natural language processing, audio speech recognition, and “barge-in” capability for a reliable voice interface even in loud or noisy environments or when users are far from the device.
The platform’s hardware-based security offers features such as secure boot from hardware root of trust, trusted execution environment, hardware crypto engines, storage security, debug security with lifecycle control, key provisioning, and wireless protocol security.
The Qualcomm QCS605 and QCS603 are sampling now, with multiple SKUs designed to meet a variety of technical and cost effectiveness requirements. QCS605-based VR 360 camera reference designs from Qualcomm Technologies and Altek Corporation, a leading original design manufacturer for cameras, are available today, and QCS603-based industrial security camera reference designs are expected to be available in the second half of 2018.