Artificial intelligence processing might best be done at the edge of the network, or where sensors collect data. GreenWaves Technologies is today unveiling an open source-based processor that can do just that, with the hope of enabling a new wave of products — from smart toys to smart cities.

Grenoble, France-based GreenWaves is announcing its Gap8 internet of things (IoT) application processor today to handle low-power AI processing in sensor devices. The chip is based on the RISC-V open source processor architecture, and it is meant to solve problems that a lot of other processors were not designed to handle.

Above: GreenWaves has a power-efficient AI processor in Gap8.

Image Credit: GreenWaves

Martin Croome, VP of development at GreenWaves, said in an interview with VentureBeat that AI products such as self-driving cars or crime-detection cameras in cities will collect an enormous amount of data in the future. Normally, it might make sense to gather the data and send it to a computer in a datacenter. But these IoT devices will collect so much data they could bog down the network. So it makes sense to process the data where the sensors are actually located.

“RISC-V gives you the ability to do an open source processor, but it doesn’t give you the implementation,” Croome said. “We do that.”

GreenWaves is a rival to ARM, which has a proprietary RISC architecture that is widely licensed to various chip design companies in the industry. ARM sells intellectual property that can be integrated into a chip, which can be made by a variety of chip manufacturers. GreenWaves will offer more…

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