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Aspinity Expands into Audio Event Detection

www.eetimes.com, Apr. 16, 2021 – 

Analog AI chip startup Aspinity is now targeting acoustic event detection, as well as voice detection, in ultra-low power systems. The company is rolling out an evaluation kit to ease development of acoustic event detection systems in battery-powered devices. Aspinity's analog AI accelerator chip is used to detect acoustic events at the start of the signal chain while microphone data is still in its analog form, meaning digital systems further downstream can remain in sleep mode until an event is detected.

"You can't duty cycle sound," Tom Doyle, CEO of Aspinity told EE Times. "You have to have it all because these are random events and if you miss any piece of them, you break down the accuracy of the system."

Systems listening for voice or audio events therefore have to be always-on. Aspinity hopes to enable always-on battery-powered acoustic event detection systems that can last years, instead of months, on a single charge. Doyle said that Aspinity's technique can reduce power consumption significantly; since acoustic events like a window break are extremely rare, the rest of the system can remain in sleep mode for the vast majority of the time.

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