Arduino’s Nicla Voice is a 22.86 x 22.86 mm module for easy, discrete implementation of always-on speech and gesture recognition, enabled by Syntiant’s ultra-low-power NDP120 neural decision processor for AI/ML workloads at the edge or working standalone in battery-powered applications.
The NDP120 features a deep neural network inference engine, a HiFi 3 audio DSP, and an Arm Cortex-M0 core at up to 48 MHz to support running multiple AI algorithms simultaneously for advanced machine learning workloads such as noise and vibration detection, low-power speech recognition, contactless operations, and gesture recognition. Target applications include driver-assist systems in motorcycle helmets, smart home security systems, predictive maintenance, process monitoring, and more.
To utilise the 24/7 sensing and data-processing capabilities of Syntiant’s NDP120, Nicla Voice includes an on-board microphone from Infineon, and a 6-axis IMU and 3-axis magnetometer from Bosch – an external microphone port is provided via ZIF connector. In addition to wake word or trigger sound detection and comprehensive understanding of voice commands, Nicla Voice offers enhanced audio processing for echo cancellation and noise suppression.
The combination of these capabilities and the compact size of the module allows Nicla Voice to be integrated into hearing protection wearables that can filter out unwanted sounds, such as industrial machine noise, while still allowing desired sounds, such as warning alarms, to be heard by the user. The small size also allows Nicla Voice to be retrofitted to devices in other applications where hands-free HMI interaction is desired, such as while driving.
Along with Syntiant’s NDP120, Nicla Voice features a Nordic Semiconductor MCU + Bluetooth 5.2 LE SoC with a 64 MHz Arm Cortex-M4 core to support your application requirements and allow for easy connectivity with other devices. Castellated pins allow access to several common interfaces and I/O pins with a programmable voltage of 1.8-3.3 V, and the board can be powered via the 500 mbps USB port, pin headers, or a 3.7 V LiPo battery supported by the on-board battery charger and fuel gauge IC. For those already developing with Arduino, Nicla Voice is compatible with their Portenta and MKR product lines.
For the full technical specifications, the official datasheet for Nicla Voice can be found here.
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