Syntiant NDP250 Neural Decision Processor For Always-On AI

Syntiant’s NDP250 presents engineers with a next-generation device for always-on AI at the endpoint, with a power consumption suitable for running the device on batteries for long periods of time.

The NDP250 can run deep neural networks on chip with up to 6 million parameters in 8-bit mode and up to 120 MHz operating frequency. This enables 5x the AI performance of Syntiant’s previous generation of processors while retaining the same power consumption when performing similar workloads.

Where previously Syntiant’s NDP120 chip was able to perform speech and audio event recognition and audio scene classification, the NDP250 boosts these capabilities to enable new AI functionality, including:

  • Person presence detection with up to 10 seconds of image pre-roll
  • Object classification
  • Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)
  • Speech-to-text transcription
  • Motion tracking
  • Multiple-microphone full duplex voice communication
  • Multi-sensor fusion inferencing

The internal block diagram of the NDP250 is illustrated below:

The NDP250 also integrates a Power Management Unit (PMU) for single-power-rail operation on 1.8 V or 3.3 V and simplest implementation in compact devices such as mobile phones, smart home devices, security cameras, video doorbells, and smart displays. The package size is a mere 6.1 x 5.1 mm.

Additional control functionality is supported by the 58x GPIOs and an embedded Arm Cortex-M0 core with 512 kB SRAM. More information regarding the NDP250’s interfacing options can be found in this official product brief.

Syntiant’s SDK and TDK (Training Development Kit) helps engineers to get started with AI application development using standard frameworks such as TensorFlow.

Syntiant has also created a Raspberry Pi HAT to support evaluation of this technology during development. Details of this evaluation platform are available to interested parties, with more information expected on full release of the NDP250 in Q3 2024.

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