Majority of electronics engineers to launch products with on-board AI in the next six months

The majority of electronics engineers are looking to launch products capable of on-board AI processing before 2023, according to new research from semiconductor specialists XMOS.

The Edge of Now – the third in a series of annual reports examining engineers’ attitudes towards the artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) – found that 64% of electronics engineers are working on devices with the processing capabilities required to support on-device AI to be released in the next six months.

This is indicative of a broader movement towards such capabilities. Two fifths (38%) of engineers surveyed say that their entire product range will have the on-device processing power to support AIoT functionality by 2025. Another quarter (26%), claim that 70% of their product range will have on-device processing by this time.

This combination of short-term optimism and long-term ambition suggests that the two most challenging obstacles to on-board processing – cost and power consumption – no longer pose a considerable threat to progress. Just 16% of the engineers surveyed now cite cost as a barrier, and only 13% indicate power as an issue.

As a result, engineers appear to now be in a place where the vast majority can begin to lay the technological foundations for the AIoT in their devices. Affordable, low-power silicon is opening up markets that include the smart home, smart city, Industry 4.0, automotive applications, and medtech.

“As confidence around AIoT grows and technology progresses, we are getting closer and closer to on-board AI becoming a market reality,” commented Aneet Chopra, VP Product Marketing and Business Development, XMOS. “For the majority of engineers, the lion’s share of their product range will boast the on-board processing capabilities required for the foundations of AIoT, and we will see the fruits of this labour not only in the years to come but in a matter of months. In fact, at XMOS, we are already seeing evidence of that through healthy AIoT customer design engagements”

“However, developing these products requires consistent empowerment and sustained support. Engineers need hardware that allows them to adapt and iterate on the fly, pushing the boundaries of their craft and creating solutions that work for them, whilst keeping a steady frame of reference at the heart of it all.”

The full Edge of Now report is available here.

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