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Innatera Productizes SNN Accelerator As 'Neuromorphic Microcontroller'

Neuromorphic chip startup Innatera recently productized its spiking neural network accelerator in the form of a "neuromorphic microcontroller," designed for always-on sensing applications in consumer electronics and the IoT.

www.eetimes.com/, Feb. 06, 2024 – 

The company has become one of a select few with hardware development kits available based on brain-inspired, spiking neural network technology, where information is encoded in the form of precisely timed voltage spikes. SNNs allow native time series processing with very good correlation detection, and they tend to be around 100 times smaller than conventional, non-spiking models, Innatera CEO Sumeet Kumar told EE Times. He said Innatera's tech has been proven in five generations of test chips, and he added that test silicon validates the company's claim to achieve 100X the speed and 500X lower energy per inference versus standard neural networks running on digital AI accelerators, including digital signal processors and microcontrollers.

"[The T1] allows you to analyze sensor data in real time to detect and identify patterns of interest through signal processing," Kumar said. "We tend to focus on applications where there is an always-on sensing element. Generally in this sort of data, events of significance tend to be somewhat sporadic, so we want to do sub-milliwatt processing of this data continuously, and to be able to recognize patterns or carry out signal processing within a millisecond."

Innatera's new SoC, the T1, features a small CPU, memory and a small convolutional neural network accelerator alongside the company's analog spiking neural network accelerator.

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