Ambiq Apollo510 Delivers 30x Power Efficiency Improvement to Unleash Endpoint AI

Ambiq Micro was founded in 2010 focused initially on Real Time Clocks (RTC), it launched its first microcontroller in 2015. This microcontroller, known as Apollo and based on Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology  (SPOT) was able to achieve significantly lower power consumption and became widely used in power constrained devices such as smart watches. It has made gradual improvements to Apollo over time, adding new functionality and opening it up to new markets.

Ambiq counts many leading wearable device brands as customers including Garmin, Huawei, and Xiaomi and it states that it has sold more than 230 million devices to date. Whilst consumer wearables has been the major market for Ambiq, it also targets smart home, portable medical, speakers, and industrial IoT.

The latest chip, Apollo510, marks a major change in the platform, moving from the Arm Cortex-M4 core (which has been used in all Apollo SoCs to date), to an Arm Cortex-M55. Ambiq states that this transition has helped to enable several improvements including:

  • 10x faster performance
  • 30x better power efficiency
  • 10x better latency

Much of Ambiq’s success so far has been enabling battery powered devices to last longer between charges, but as devices (such as smartwatches) are becoming increasingly sophisticated, more processing power is also required.

Ambiq states “With more than 30x energy improvement, the Apollo510 is capable of running a vast majority of today’s endpoint AI calculations, including low-power sensor monitoring, always-on voice commands, telco-quality audio enhancement, and more. Manufacturers of IoT devices that perform AI/ML inferencing, such as next-gen wearables, digital health devices, AR/VR glasses, factory automation, and remote monitoring devices, can greatly expand their power budget while adding more capabilities to their devices through the Apollo510’s SPOT-optimized design.”

The new platform not only enables existing customers to add new features and functionality to their devices but also opens up Ambiq’s range of possible applications beyond traditional wearable devices.

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