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Renesas And Syntiant Develop Voice-Controlled Multimodal AI Solution


Renesas Electronics, a supplier of advanced
semiconductor solutions, and Syntiant, a deep learning chip technology
company advancing low-power intelligent voice and sensor processing in edge
devices, has announced the joint development of a voice-controlled multimodal
AI solution that enables low-power contactless operation for image processing
in vision AI-based IoT and edge systems, such as self-checkout machines, security
cameras, and video conference systems, and smart appliances such as robotic
cleaning devices.

The new solution combines the Renesas RZ/V Series vision AI
microprocessor unit (MPU) and the low-power multimodal, multi-feature Syntiant®
NDP120 Neural Decision Processor to deliver advanced voice and image
processing capabilities. The joint solution features always-on functionality
with quick voice-triggered activation from standby mode to perform object
recognition, facial recognition, and other vision-based tasks that are critical
functions in security cameras and other systems. For example, while
user-defined voice cues drive activation and system operation, vision AI
recognition tracks operator behavior and controls operation or issues a warning
when suspicious actions are detected.

The multimodal architecture makes it easier to create
contactless user experiences for vision AI-based systems. Using a dedicated,
power-efficient chip for voice recognition reduces standby power consumption
while speeding up system development because it is possible to develop software
independently of the vision AI functionality.

“We anticipate that demand for multimodal systems that use
multiple streams of input information - both image and voice - will increase moving
forward as a way to improve both ease of use and safety,” said Hiroto Nitta,
Senior Vice President and Head of SoC Business in the IoT and Infrastructure
Business Unit at Renesas. “Through the collaboration between Renesas, a leader
in low-power image AI technology, and Syntiant, a leader in voice AI
technology, we will accelerate the adoption of low-power, ultra-small smart
voice AI technology in embedded systems and deliver new combined solutions to
customers globally.”

“Voice-based user interfaces will make it possible for
customers to deliver new user experiences that bring the next generation of
innovative ideas from concept to reality, said Syntiant CEO Kurt Busch. “We've
already shipped more than 15 million of our deep learning NDPs globally to
enable always-on voice in a wide variety of consumer and industrial IoT
applications. Our collaboration with Renesas delivers a powerful, low-power
voice and image solution that is certain to accelerate traction among a global
customer base in a variety of devices and use cases.”

The Renesas RZ/V Series MPU for vision AI incorporates
Renesas' exclusive DRP-AI (Dynamically Reconfigurable Processor-AI) accelerator
and combines high-precision AI inference with a power efficiency that is among
the best in the industry. This superior power performance eliminates the need
for heat dispersion measures such as heat sinks or cooling fans, which reduces
the bill of materials (BOM) cost and makes it possible to integrate vision AI
into a wide range of embedded applications.

The Syntiant NDP120 chip incorporates sophisticated AI
capabilities that can be used to implement many high-precision, hands-free
voice functions, including speaker recognition, keyword detection, multiple
wake words, and local command recognition. Packaged with the Syntiant Core 2™
neural network inference engine, the NDP120 can also run multiple applications
simultaneously while minimizing power consumption to 1mW battery power.

The new voice-controlled multimodal AI solution uses
multiple mutually compatible devices from broader Renesas portfolio to provide
customers an elevated prototyping platform for faster time to market and
reduced risk. The new solution is part of Renesas' Winning Combinations, which
feature compelling analog, power, and embedded processing product combinations
that help customers accelerate their designs and get to market faster.

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