Overview

Energy efficient hands-free activation is becoming a ‘must have’ feature in mobile devices, wearables, smart speakers and many other battery operated devices. Features such as voice control, gesture control or face unlock demand an always-on user interface (UI) in order to be totally hands-free. While employing intensive signal processing algorithms, such as those used for speech recognition and face detection, the supporting technology must consume very little power in order to conserve battery life.

Sensing is a key feature of smartphones, wearables and IoT devices. Combined processing of sensory data from disparate sources, also known as Sensor Fusion, provides valuable contextual awareness for a host of user applications. Multiple MEMS sensors such as 9-Axis motion sensors, barometer, thermometer and others call for a high-precision sensor fusion DSP to accurately and efficiently deduce motion and environmental data, and eliminate false readings.

The key to meeting these requirements is to choose signal processing IP that provides the following:

  • A highly optimized Arithmetic Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and a rich control ISA that are efficiently utilized by the compiler as it handles Sensor Fusion software, which often mixes arithmetic and control code.
  • Ultra-low power consumption, enabling it to efficiently sustain always-on operation.
  • Minimal silicon area, which allows for very low leakage power as well as a cost effective implementation.

 

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target markets

Mobile Devices

As smartphones and tablets host an ever increasing variety of sensors, the benefit from fusing all that sensor data increases accordingly. As always-on voice activation and gesture based activation become standard, the need for an efficient implementation of both hardware and software proves mandatory.

Wearables

With their small form-factor and increasingly complex UI needs, wearable devices often implement voice-based control to allow for the breadth of user interaction needed.

IoT Devices

IoT devices are usually comprised of sensing, processing and connectivity functions. As sensing and processing is often always-on, it is essential to have an efficient implementation of those functions to allow for a decent battery life without compromising on the rich functionality they offer.