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Nordic Development Kit provides easy access to AI and ML

Nordic Semiconductor’s partnership with Edge Impulse, a provider of ‘TinyML’ tools designed to run on resource constrained semiconductor devices, has enabled its nRF52 and nRF53 Series Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) chips to benefit from easy-to-use AI and machine learning features as standard.

“What AI and ML 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.

“What our partnership with Edge Impulse will do is remove all the complexity and previous technological barriers-to-entry for our customers wishing to add TinyML features to their Bluetooth applications,” continued Holstad. “In fact using Edge Impulse tools, Nordic customers could be up and running TinyML on their applications within an afternoon. And at an ultra-low power consumption level that still supports extended battery operation, even from small batteries.”

Prime engineering areas for TinyML include audio and vibration where it can be used to establish normal operating patterns and rapidly detect anomalies.

The Nordic/Edge Impulse partnership will centre around Edge Impulse’s Impulse's Edge Optimised Neural (EON) compiler that is claimed to be able to optimise computer processing and memory use by up to 50 percent when running TinyML on resource-constrained semiconductor devices.

“What Nordic Semiconductor is doing through its partnership with Edge Impulse is bringing AI and machine learning to the wireless IoT masses,” added Edge Impulse Co-Founder and CEO, Zach Shelby. “By leveraging the fact that every Nordic nRF52 and 53 Series Bluetooth SoC employs at least one powerful Arm core processor on-board, and is architecturally designed for ultra-low power battery operation, this partnership is effectively democratising access to state-of-the-art TinyML within the Bluetooth market.

“Given the powerful application benefits of TinyML, this is going to help make the world a lot more reliable and a lot safer.”

Author
Neil Tyler

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