Nordic, Edge Impulse team for embedded AI on Bluetooth controllers

January 20, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Nordic, Edge Impulse team for embedded AI on Bluetooth microcontrollers
The embedded AI compiler from Edge Impulse can bow be used with Bluetooth Low Energy wireless controllers from Nordic Semiconductor

Norwegian wireless chip designer Nordic Semiconductor has signed a partnership with Edge Impulse in the US to add machine learning and embedded AI to its Bluetooth Low Energy wireless chips.

The deal allows AI frameworks to run on the nRF52 and nRF53 Series controllers to model and understand their operating environments and make intelligent decisions. This is part of a key move to add AI frameworks to smaller, resource-constrained microcontrollers and the deal marks the first time this is available fro Bluetooth controllers. Several companies are developing extensions for RISC-V processor for embedded AI, and ARM is driving its own embedded AI add-on blocks. 

The nRF52840 Development Kit now provides access to AI and machine learning using Impulse's Edge Optimized Neural (EON) compiler. This optimises computer processing and memory use by up to 50 percent when running TinyML on resource-constrained semiconductor devices.

“What AI and machine learning on resource-constrained chips does – which Nordic will now collectively refer to as TinyML – is take the application potential of wireless IoT technologies such as Bluetooth to a whole new level in terms of environmental awareness and autonomous decision making,” said Kjetil Holstad, Nordic’s Director of Product Management.

“Although we have had customers build and run TinyML applications on Nordic’s Bluetooth chips in the past, before now this required quite a high level of mathematical and computer programming expertise using professional science industry and academia software like MATLAB.”

Next: Embedded AI example libraries

Adding embedded AI to the Nordic Semi development kit

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