Synaptics expands into low power edge AI applications with new platform

1 min read

Synaptics has unveiled the Katana Edge AI platform, as it looks to address a growing industry gap for solutions that enable battery powered devices for consumer and industrial IoT markets.

The platform combines Synaptics’ low power SoC architecture with energy-efficient AI software, enabled by a partnership with Eta Compute. The solution has been optimised for a wide range of ultra-low power use cases in edge devices for office buildings, retail, factories, farms and smart homes. Typical applications include people or object recognition and counting, visual, voice or sound detection, asset or inventory tracking and environmental sensing.

The Katana platform features a multi-core processor architecture that's been optimised for ultra-low-power and low latency voice, audio and vision applications. The full system SoC combines proprietary power and energy optimised neural network and domain specific processing cores, significant on-chip memory, and extensive use of multiple architectural techniques that save power for each unique mode of operation. The Katana Edge AI platform can be combined with Synaptics’ wireless connectivity offerings to provide complete system level modules and solutions.

The growing demand for efficiency in battery operated devices requires software optimisation techniques tightly coupled to the underlying silicon. As a result, Synaptics’ Katana SoC will be co-optimised with Eta Compute’s TENSAI Flow software to create a platform that combines an efficient AI compiler with an extensive set of performance and power optimised libraries.

Synaptics will be working with Eta Compute to offer application focused kits that speed development and deployment. The kits will include pre-trained machine learning models and reference designs, while also enabling users to train the models with their own datasets using industry-standard frameworks such as TensorFlow, Caffe and ONNX.

“Today, there is growing demand for edge intelligence in devices that perform video-, audio- or voice-based detection and classification. However, there are significant gaps in the availability of power efficient solutions and the expertise to effectively program them,” said Satish Ganesan, Chief Strategy Officer at Synaptics. “The combination of Synaptics’ Katana platform and Eta Compute’s TENSAI flow software addresses these gaps while significantly growing our opportunity in a multi-billion dollar market.”