Katana Edge AI Kit Architects Smart Edge Designs for AI Vision and Sensors

By Saumitra Jagdale

Freelance Technology Writer

June 10, 2022


Credits: Yahoo Finance

Edge AI and sensor fusion are two disciplines of application development for engineers due to their complexity and multidimensionality. It is more convenient to have a complete solution that integrates a wide range of sensors with edge devices supporting multiple use cases.

The new Katana Edge AI Evaluation Kit (EVK), built around the low-power Katana SoC (System-on-Chip) with its sophisticated neural network engine, integrates various sensors, software, and wireless connection to jumpstart smart edge designs. Katana has a hexa-core architecture that is heterogeneous and each core is well-suited to application-specific activities for building target use cases. The activities include neural network image processing, audio/voice processing, control tasks, and many more. The Edge AI kit aims to accelerate the Development of AI Vision and Sensor Fusion Applications for the IoT networks. 

The Katana platform from Synaptics extends intelligence to the edge by allowing energy-efficient AI endpoint solutions that can make autonomous choices based on data acquired through vision and audio sensors. It offers extremely minimal power per inference in a modular, user-friendly AI architecture. Katana is a high-integration edge AI SoC for battery-powered wireless devices with audio or video capabilities in consumer and industrial IoT applications.

Katana is designed for a variety of ultra-low-power AI use cases in edge devices, including office buildings, retail, factories, warehouses, robots, farms, and smart homes and cities. It's built for a variety of energy-constrained IoT applications, and it's especially well-suited for retrofitting, usage in remote places, outdoor deployment, and infrastructure deployment.

The Katana Edge AI EVK is designed to expedite the development of smart-home security and assisted living applications, as well as industrial vision solutions, smart buildings, and smart cities. The new Katana Edge has a baseboard with image and video capture, audio, voice control, and motion detection sensors, as well as a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio module. The board comes with a custom-built casing, batteries, and all wiring, as well as packaged attachments that allow mounting the board for face-detection applications and other applications that require an overhead view.

Credits: Hackster.io

Along with its wide range of highly accurate sensors, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity allows the Katana EVK to connect with various edge devices wirelessly. Users can use the vision, motion, and sound data from these sensors for numerous applications and display the data conveniently through interactive user interfaces. 

The key features of the Katana Edge Ai Evaluation Kit include:

  • Baseboard powered by the Katana SoC and a sophisticated neural network engine for low-power edge AI computing

  • Highly efficient motion, vision, and sound sensors that include a Himax QVGA camera module, a microphone array consisting of two microphones, an accelerometer, and an ambient light sensor

  • Synaptics Wi-Fi + Bluetooth low energy (BLE) wireless connectivity module

  • Accessories for developing people detection applications, such as a mounting bar and clips for an overhead camera

  • Onboard OLED display

  • Software support for interfacing with the edge devices

The Katana EVK is also compatible with Raspberry Pi modules and various other microprocessors and microcontrollers that can further connect to edge devices like laptops or desktops. 

Accelerating the Smart Edge Designs for AI Applications

Synaptics’ new Katana Edge AI Evaluation Kit based on the low-power Katana SoC enhances smart edge designs for numerous AI applications. It integrates highly-efficient and low-power vision, motion, and sound sensors to accelerate the development of AI vision and sensor fusion applications for IoT applications. The kit offers easy connectivity via Bluetooth Low Power (BLE) radio module as well as a Wi-Fi module, allowing it to connect to various edge devices easily. The kit also comes with a durable casing and tools for mounting it on surfaces for AI vision applications. 

The board was on display at the tinyML Summit a few weeks back and will be available for purchase through the company's in-house sales channels. Synaptics has also released demonstration videos of the kit demonstrating people detection and meter reading applications.

Saumitra Jagdale is a Backend Developer, Freelance Technical Author, Global AI Ambassador (SwissCognitive), Open-source Contributor in Python projects, Leader of Tensorflow Community India, and Passionate AI/ML Enthusiast.

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