First Voice Wake-Up IC Viable For Battery-Operated Devices

By Mat Dirjish

Aspinity, a developer of power-efficient edge intelligence for always-on sensing devices, has demonstrated what it is calling the world’s most power-efficient end-to-end voice wake-up solutions for voice-first devices. Based on a post-microphone audio chain that draws as little as 25 µA of current when always-listening and collecting pre-roll data, the front-to-back system combines the latest generation of the company’s Reconfigurable Analog Modular Processor (RAMP) chip with two STMicroelectronics microcontrollers (MCUs). Essentially, this solution will enable the next wave of always-on, high-accuracy voice-first devices with extended battery lifetimes.

Unlike digital-only platforms relying on low-power MCUs or DSPs, the RAMP IC is a neuromorphic analog processing chip that can be dropped into the front end of a typical wake word-driven system. By detecting voice at the earliest point in the signal chain, i.e., when the data is still analog, the RAMP IC eliminates the digitization and analysis of irrelevant non-voice data and reduces system power by as much as 10x.

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