SOCs for Always-Aware Edge Devices

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QBit Core TechnologiesQBit develops system-on-chip (SOC) integrated circuits for smart edge devices – devices that can take in images and sounds, grasp the context, and determine when to engage the powerful processing in the cloud.

QBit’s first SOCs, currently in development, are the QBit 63xx series. The 63xx series is designed for smart printing and imaging devices, including laser/LED printers, multi-function printers, thermal printers, 3D printers, and document scanners. The 63xx series integrates everything that is needed for smart printing and imaging devices: industry-standard ARM CPU core, image processing in hardware and DSP, mechanism control, and connectivity.

QBit excels in three core technologies: always-aware standby operation, content recognition with classification-based processing, and advanced mixed signal integration.

" "Always-Aware Standby Operation

A key challenge inherent in smart devices is how to monitor for events that require action while using as little power as possible. We call this always-aware standby operation. The SOC must turn off all unneeded blocks, put the system memory into self-refresh power down mode, efficiently monitor activity, and quickly turn on blocks and system memory to process activity as needed. QBit’s SOCs incorporate fine-grain power islands and programmable monitoring to enable products that use barely any power while always being ready to respond to user and network activity.

" "Content Recognition and
Classification-based Processing

Humans are remarkably good at discerning different types of content without even realizing it. Smart edge devices need special algorithms to recognize objects, document elements, spoken words, gestures, and facial expressions. QBit’s content recognition technology stems from our long experience in “segmentation” algorithms to distinguish different elements in documents – photos, text, line drawings – and then process them differently to get the best image quality.

Mixed-signal Integration and Low-cost System Design

Cost is a paramount issue for all smart edge devices. QBit’s SOCs provide state-of-the-art integration of analog functions, including clock generators, DACs, ADCs and PHYs. QBit takes a comprehensive approach to system cost, optimizing not just the SOC cost, but factoring in all aspects of overall system cost, including circuit board cost and cost of external BOM components such as clock sources, voltage converters, memories, cables, and EMF reduction.