Deploy your AI applications quickly with Himax WE-I Plus EVB and Edge Impulse

Himax WE-I Plus board

We recently saw the Himax WE-I Plus EVB development board which boasts some really interesting hardware for performing AI on the edge. In essence, the board is powered by WE-I Plus ASIC (HX6537-A) and can classify a single image at 96×96 pixels in just over 100ms. Having such powerful hardware requires equally good software to develop your projects quickly and easily. This is where support for the Edge Impulse development platform for Himax WE-I Plus comes in. The EVB board is the “First Ultralow Power AI-Vision and Sensor Fusion Solution” as claimed by Himax and Edge Impulse.

The WE-I Plus EVB is a compact and powerful board that is capable of running all TensorFlow Lite Micro examples with inference speeds between 6 and 100ms. The WE-I Plus ASIC features an ARC 32-bit DSP running at 400 MHz along with 2MB flash and 2MB SRAM. What makes this board special is the onboard low-power monochrome camera along with accelerometer and microphones. Thus, the WE-I Plus with its sensors is a perfect all-in-one solution for running tinyML models with very limited resources.

Himax WE-I Plus board form factor

“Himax and Edge Impulse are teaming up to help developers create amazing new user experiences with secure, private, and easy to use embedded development tools,” said Jordan Wu, President and Chief Executive Officer at Himax. Edge Impulse offers the usage of their platform at no extra charge to individual Himax developers.

Features of Edge Impulse for Himax WE-I Plus board

Edge Impulse provides the user with all the tools required to develop a custom machine learning model. Right from building the dataset, training, testing to finally deploying the model. You get the option to collect your images through the WE-I Plus EVB’s camera along with other options. Edge Impulse trains the model on the cloud and puts the testing results in a very visually appealing format.

Himax WE-I Plus board Edge Impulse

One huge benefit you get here is that Edge Impulse offers the usage of the transfer learning technique for training custom models. Therefore, even a model trained on very few images will yield pretty good results with the WE-I Plus EVB.

Other than the Edge Impulse platform, developers can also traditionally program the WE-I Plus EVB through embedded C programs. To get the user started, Himax provides several examples like interfacing environmental sensor modules or the LoRa REYAX RYLR896 wireless module. They have a walkthrough on how to flash the image binaries on Windows and Linux on their GitHub page. The developers can also program or flash the image binaries through Arduino IDE and see the output in the serial monitor.

Himax WE-I Plus board sensor example

If you don’t have the Himax WE-I Plus EVB board yet, you can get one on the SparkFun store for $65. More details about using WE-I Plus EVB with Edge Impulse are available here. The user guide on getting started with WE-I Plus is available on Himax’s GitHub page.

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