Synaptics launches Astra AI-native IoT Platform

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Synaptics has launched the Synaptics Astra platform with the SL-Series of embedded AI-native Internet of Things (IoT) processors and the Astra Machina Foundation Series development kit.

Credit: Synaptics

With more customers asking for AI, the Astra platform has been designed to provide the structure, scalability, and flexibility that’s required.

The SL-Series allows designers to bring AI directly to their products independent of the data centre, solving issues concerning data privacy and latency. According to Synaptics, this family of embedded processors can provide compute capability at power-consumption levels that enable a wide range of consumer, enterprise, and industrial edge IoT applications.

“Sense, process, and connect are the fundamental elements of an IoT system and we have differentiated technologies in all three areas,” said Michael Hurlston, President and CEO of Synaptics. “While we have historically been leaders in a handful of narrow processor verticals, we are now embarking on a journey to bring advanced AI capability to an incredibly wide range of edge IoT devices.”

The Synaptics Astra AI-native compute platform brings structure to IoT edge device design using scalable hardware, unified software, an adaptive open-source AI framework, a partner-based ecosystem, and robust wireless connectivity. The SL-Series of multi-core Linux or Android systems on chip (SoCs) are based on Arm Cortex A-series CPUs and feature hardware accelerators for edge inferencing and multimedia processing on audio, video, vision, image, voice, and speech.

“The SL-Series delivers on the high-performance end of a roadmap of scalable edge AI IoT compute solutions and will soon be complemented by our power-optimised AI-enabling SR-Series of MCUs,” said Vikram Gupta, SVP & GM IoT Processors and Chief Product Officer at Synaptics. “Combined with our easy-to-use AI frameworks, customers will be able to bring intelligent IoT products to the market quickly.”

“Edge AI is transforming use cases across markets including smart home, city, agriculture, and retail,” said Paul Williamson, SVP and GM, IoT Line of Business at Arm. “The Arm-powered Astra platform will deliver the performance and intelligence needed for this next generation of AI experiences.”

Each of the three devices in the SL-Series offers a number of features and benefits, catering to different multi-modal application requirements and feature ‘out-of-the-box’ AI:

The SL1680 is based on a quad-core Arm Cortex-A73 64-bit CPU, a 7.9 TOPS NPU, a high-efficiency, feature-rich GPU, and a multimedia accelerator pipeline. It is intended for home and industrial control, smart appliances, home security gateways, digital signage, displays, point-of-sale systems, and scanners.

The SL1640 is optimised for cost and power and is based on a quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 processor, a 1.6+ TOPS NPU, and a GE9920 GPU. It is suitable for smart home appliances, enterprise conferencing, smart speakers, displays and signage, consumer, and industrial control panels.

The SL1620 is also based on a quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 CPU subsystem, a feature-rich GPU for advanced graphics and AI acceleration, superior audio algorithms, and dual displays. Applications include enterprise multimedia conferencing, smart appliances, home security gateways, digital signage, displays, point-of-sale systems, and smart speakers.

The Astra Machina Foundation Series development kit supports the SL-Series and helps AI developers to quickly unlock the processors’ AI capabilities, processing and graphics capabilities and matching wireless connectivity, starting with Synaptics’ SYN43711 and SYN43752 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo SoCs.