Raspberry Pi development kit opens up voice and AI in the IoT

Raspberry Pi development kit opens up voice and AI in the IoT

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Knowles has developed a Raspberry Pi Development Kit to support voice, audio edge processing and machine learning (ML) listening capabilities in the Internet of Things (IoT)

The Knowles AISonic IA8201 kit creates a single tool to streamline design, development, and testing of technologies for the IoT and Industry4.0.

The kit is built around the Knowles AISonic IA8201 Audio Edge Processor with two Tensilica-based, audio-centric DSP cores; one for high-power compute and AI/ML applications, and the other for very low-power, always-on processing of sensor inputs. The IA8201 has 1MB of RAM on-chip that allows for high bandwidth processing of advanced, always-on contextually aware ML use-cases and memory to support multiple algorithms.

Using the Knowles open DSP platform, the kit includes a library of onboard audio algorithms and AI/ML libraries. Far field audio applications can be built using the available ultra-low-power voice wake, beamforming, custom keywords, and background noise elimination algorithms from Knowles algorithm partners such as Amazon Alexa, Sensory, Retune, and Alango to open up the design possibilities and ensure the freedom needed to support a wide range of voice and audio customization.

The kit also features TensorFlow Lite-Micro SDK for fast prototyping and product development for machine learning and AI applications. The TensorFlow-Lite SDK allows for porting models developed in larger cloud Tensor Flow frameworks to an embedded platform at the edge, usually with limited compute and lower power consumption, for example, AI inference engines for anomaly detection in applications such as industrial and commercial.

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“Knowles designed this new kit to be the simplest and fastest way for product designers to prototype new innovations to address emerging use cases including contextually aware voice, ML listening, and real-time audio processing, that require flexible development tools to accelerate the design process, minimize development costs, and leverage new technological advances,” said Vikram Shrivastava, senior director, IoT Marketing at Knowles. “By selecting Raspberry Pi as the system host, we are opening up the ability to add voice and ML to the largest community of system developers that prefer a Linux or Android environment.” 

“According to Q3 2021 Parks Research survey data, over half of US broadband households find it appealing to use voice control for their connected devices. The demand and the opportunity for voice applications is substantial, but it has often been incredibly complex and expensive for OEMs/ODMs to add the latest voice capabilities to devices. Solutions like those being offered by Knowles that enable voice recognition in a cost-effective, reliable, and easy to use manner will strongly resonate with consumers,” said Mark Vena, Senior Director, Smart Home Research Practice for Parks Associates.

There are options for either two or three pre-integrated Knowles Everest microphones based on product design needs and the kit includes two microphone array boards to help select the appropriate algorithm configurations for the end application.

By offering built-in microphone arrays that support the audio and voice capabilities on the IA8201 DSP, OEMs are provided a high-quality, high-performance all-in-one development solution from a single supplier. Developer support is available through the Knowles Solutions Portal for configuration tools, firmware and algorithms that come standard with the kit, allowing for complete prototyping, design, and debugging. 

The Knowles IA8201 Raspberry Pi Development Kit is now available for order, with support available through Knowles.

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