STMicroelectronics’ “Intelligent Sensor Processing Unit” Integrates Brains into Sensors
February 17, 2022
STMicroelectronics announced the launch of the Intelligent Sensor Processing Unit (ISPU) that combines a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) suited to run AI algorithms and MEMS sensor on the same silicon.
In addition to reducing size over system-in-package devices and cutting power by up to 80%, merging sensor and AI puts electronic decision-making in the application Edge. With the ISPU, ST is helping to migrate intelligent processing into sensors that support the fabric of life: no longer at the Edge but in the Edge.
ST’s ISPU provides benefits in the four Ps: power consumption, packaging, performance, and price. The proprietary ultra-low-power DSP can be programmed in C. It also allows quantized AI sensors to support full- to single-bit-precision neural networks. This ensures accuracy and efficiency in tasks such as activity recognition and anomaly detection by analyzing inertial data.
ST’s proprietary, C-language-programmable DSP is an enhanced 32-bit Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) machine. It is extensible (in the chip-design phase) for dedicated instructions and hardware components. The processor offers a full-precision floating-point unit, uses a fast four-stage pipeline, operates from 16-bit variable-length instructions, and includes a single-cycle 16-bit multiplier. Interrupt response is a spritely four cycles. ST’s sensors with ISPUs will be packaged in standard 3mm x 2.5mm x 0.83mm packages and will be pin compatible with their (ST) predecessors, allowing quick upgrades.
Combining the sensor and ISPU is also a power saver; ST’s calculations show a 5-6x saving over System-in-Package approaches in sensor-fusion applications. They also show a 2-3x saving in RUN mode.
For more information, visit: www.st.com/ispu