Korean institute develops lowest-power-consuming AI chips for facial recognition

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAST) has developed the “K-Eye” series chip, which it says is the world’s lowest-power-consuming artificial intelligence (AI) chip for facial recognition, according to a report by The Investor.

The K-Eye series is available in two versions. The first version is a wearable device that resembles a necklace and can be connected to handsets via Bluetooth.

The second version is a dongle unit that can be attached to smartphones similar to a portable USB drive.

A minimum of 1 milliwatt of electricity is needed to fully operate the chip and recognize a person’s face at up to 97 percent accuracy.

This is just a fraction of the power that other AI chips require. For instance, the amount of power required for K-Eye is approximately 0.0002 percent of the power consumed by the central processing unit of Google’s AlphaGo.

The K-Eye series are embedded with two core technologies including the institute’s Always-On image sensor and facial recognizing processor chip CNNP.

The Always-On image sensor can recognize individuals’ faces, which significantly reduces power consumption, while the CNNP operates on its own by leveraging a deep-learning algorithm.

According to KAST, the chips are expected to help operate an increasing number of new AI software programs on mobile devices, which usually require an enormous amount of power for implementation.

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