Thursday, January 23, 2020

Energy consumption is a hot topic in the world of voice-enabled AIoT devices. With good reason.

Mark Lippett, XMOS, January 23, 2020

Voice shows the fastest adoption of any consumer technology ever. At the current rate of growth, there’ll be a further 1.5 billion new voice-enabled devices in our homes in 2025, with an estimated 5 billion units in use worldwide.

Imagine all these devices powered up and hanging on to our every keyword. At a very rough estimate, those devices will consume 65 TeraWatt hours of electricity a year, simply by being always on, listening for a keyword. That’s almost the equivalent (90%) of the annual output of the world’s largest nuclear power plant. It’s not sustainable. Intelligent IoT systems should enable us to consume less, not more. 

As voice becomes a mainstream requirement and the focus moves inexorably forward to contextual, conversational interfaces, so we’re also seeing a shift in the semiconductor industry, with increasing innovation (and demand) around energy efficient solutions.

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