MCU startup Alif samples two AI-enabled families

September 02, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
MCU startup Alif samples two AI-enabled families
Alif Semiconductor Inc. (Pleasanton, Calif.) has launched the Ensemble and Crescendo families of ARM-based AI-enabled, connected microcontrollers.

The Ensemble family provides for wireline connected MCUs and fusion processors in single, dual, triple and quad core versions to cover a diverse range of applications.

The Crescendo family covers cellular connected processing. Again single to quad core versions plus AI acceleration, LTE Cat-M1/NB1/NB2 wireless, integrated SIM cellular subscriber management and GNSS positioning.

The company was co-founded in 2019 by CEO Syed Ali, previously co-founder, CEO and chairman of Cavium Networks and by President Reza Kazerounian, who was general manager of the microcontroller and connectivity business unit at Atmel until its acquisition by Microchip in 2016. Prior to his time at Atmel, Kazerounian held senior positions at Freescale Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics.

At its foundation the company's mission was to enter the microcontroller market using the latest ARM cores, which come with enhanced support for machine learning.

The Ensemble scales from single Cortex-M55 MCUs to a new class of multi-core devices that Alif call 'fusion  processors'. These blend one or two Cortex-M55 MCU cores, with one or two Cortex-A32  microprocessors (MPU) cores capable of running high-level operating systems, and up to two Ethos-U55 microNPUs for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)  acceleration.

Ensemble family devices contain an advanced secure enclave that provides multiple layers of security, such as device integrity protection, secure identity, root-of-trust, secure lifecycle management, and more. Together with on-chip SRAM and non-volatile memory, accelerated graphics, imaging, the Ensemble family is suitable for smart home products, appliances, point-of sale, robotics applications, the company claims.

Next: Crescendo

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