GreenWaves Technologies unveils Gap8, the Low Power RISC-V IoT Processor Optimized for AI

By on February 28, 2018
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Fabless startup Greenwaves Technologies has announced the availability of its GAP8 IoT application processor to handle low-power AI processing in sensor devices.

The new processor targets industrial and consumer products integrating artificial intelligence, and advanced classification such as image recognition, counting people and objects, machine health monitoring, home security, speech recognition, consumer robotics, wearables and smart toys.

“GAP8 differs radically from the flurry of other AI focused processors, which target either far more complex applications that can’t be battery powered, or much narrower application spaces. Instead, GAP8 is precisely positioned at the crossroads of the AI, IoT and MCU worlds. The autonomous operation enabled by GAP8 dramatically reduces the deployment and operating costs of image, sound and vibration sensing devices, enabling an unprecedented scale of adoption,” said Loïc Liétar, co-founder and CEO of GreenWaves Technologies. “Furthermore, building on the RISC-V and PULP open source projects has allowed us to bring to market radical innovation with an outstanding capital efficiency at a speed that allows us to promptly serve customer demand.”

The chip is built on the RISC-V-based Parallel Ultra Low Power (PULP), an open source computing platform developed at the University of Bologna and ETH Zurich.

Measuring 7 x 7mm and manufactured on TSMC’s 55nm LP process, the chip is said to consume 20 times less power than comparable devices. It can run at frequencies of up to 133MHz from a 1V supply, with 250MHz possible from a 1.2V source.

“GreenWaves’ GAP8 shows first-hand how open technology enables innovation at an amazing speed, while dramatically reducing cost compared to traditional embedded design,” said Rick O’Connor, executive director of the non-profit RISC-V Foundation. “We are excited to continue to witness startups and established companies alike take full advantage of the flexibility and extensibility of the free, open RISC-V architecture to create innovative, custom embedded solutions.”

The Gap8 IoT processor is an edge processor that can capture, analyze, classify, and act on the fusion of rich data sources, such as images, sounds, or vibrations. The processor is optimized to execute image and audio algorithms, including convolutional neural network (CNN) inference.

The company also offers a development kit comprised of GAPDUINO board, a sensor board, and a QVGA camera module.

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