Today we issued a press release announcing a reference design that we developed in partnership with Nordic Semiconductor. Nordic specializes in developing ultra-low power devices that enable wireless communications for long periods of time using small power sources. Does their ultra-low power message sound familiar? It should, as it’s the same message we’ve been promoting at QuickLogic for some time now relative to sensor processing for smartphone, wearable, hearable, and IoT applications. As both companies clearly understand the need for low power consumption in portable and IoT applications, we thought it would be logical to combine forces. In fact, these types of partnerships are explicitly part of our strategy to broaden the ecosystem for QuickLogic devices in general and our EOS™ S3 Sensor Processing Platform specifically.
In this particular case, we collaborated with Nordic to create an Amazon Alexa Wearables Reference Design that combines our EOS S3 SoC with their award-winning nF51822 Bluetooth (R) Low Energy (known as “BLE” in the industry) multiprotocol SoC. This is significant because we believe it represents the FIRST commercially available reference design that supports voice-over-BLE for Alexa. We believe that voice-over-BLE is an important new technology that brings voice-activated commands and requests for cloud-based information to wearables consumers.
We specifically chose to work with Nordic because of the company’s strength in wearables, the low power consumption and the quality of their development software and technical support. They chose to work with us because we have a unique multi-core, MCU-based sensor processing platform that includes hardware-optimized always-on voice recognition. Both companies understood that by partnering we could deliver a compelling reference design which would encourage the development of a new class of voice-managed wearables.
Neither company could have created this solution on their own. QuickLogic’s EOS S3 contributed not only its powerful hardware- and software-based processing capabilities, our patented Flexible Fusion Engine (FFE) for always-on motion and biometric sensor processing, and its integrated Low Power Sound Detection (LPSD) technology. Nordic contributed their BLE device and their nF5 development tools which enabled us to develop a smartphone app which connects the reference design to a smartphone for interactivity with the Alexa Voice Services (AVS) cloud server. Together the two companies were able to produce a complete, end-to-end solution from wearable to smartphone to cloud and back again.
We believe that these types of partnerships are good for us, good for our partners, good for the OEMs who use our products, and especially good for the end consumers who get leading edge technology solutions much sooner than they would have otherwise. Good partnerships like this one strengthen the QuickLogic ecosystem, brand, and value proposition and we expect to implement more and more of them as time goes on.