Amazon Debuts An AZ1 Neural Edge Processor

Tech World

Sept. 25, 2020, 4:40 p.m.

Tech giant Amazon in partnership with Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company Mediatek, has debuted an AZ1 Neural Edge Processor.

The AZ1 Neural Edge Processor is a silicon module that will speed up Alexa’s ability to answer questions asked by users by milliseconds per response. The module will also allow an on-device neural speech recognition for new products.

The AI chip is built into the new Echo Smart Speaker, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock, Echo Dot Kids Edition and Echo Show 10 Smart Display.

However, according to the company, only the Echo and Echo Show 10 have the on-device memory needed to support Amazon's new all-neural speech models. The AI chip will also be built into more products within the echo lineup going.

Earlier smart speakers had to send voice commands to the cloud for processing and then wait until the results came back, which delayed Alexa responses.

Now the AZ1 is capable of providing double the performance of Amazon’s previous-generation silicon for speech processing tasks using 20 times less power. Moreover, it has 85% lower memory usage, which further contributes to hardware efficiency.

Noticeably, the AZ1 seems more similar to Google’s Neural Core that is implemented in the Pixel 4. It has the ability to understand spoken English and transcribe recordings in real-time without being connected to the internet.

Amazon says these latency benefits will be available first for English in the US, but it plans to expand to more languages “in time.”

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.