Himax, Seeed Studio Partner on the WiseEye 2-Powered Edge AI Grove Vision AI Module V2

Compatible with Raspberry Pi Camera Modules, this thumb-sized gadget aims to provide energy-efficient tinyML for computer vision projects.

UPDATE (1/10/2024): Seeed Studio has officially opened orders the Grove Vision AI Module V2, built in partnership with Himax Technologies, in both a bare-board version and a bundle with a compatible camera module and an Espressif ESP32-C3-based XIAO development board.

The bare module version, which features the Himax's WiseEye2 on-device vision processor, is priced at $15.99; the bundle with the Grove Vision AI Module V2, an Omnivision OV5647 camera module, and the XIAO ESP32C3 microcontroller development board is priced at $30.88.

More information is available on the Seeed Studio store, where orders are being taken ahead of a planned January 30th shipping date.

Original article continues below.

Fabless semiconductor firm Himax Technologies has announced that its WiseEye2 on-device artificial intelligence (AI) vision processor is to power Seeed Studio's upcoming Grove Vision AI Module V2 — due to be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next week.

"At Seeed Studio, we're passionate about putting technology within easy reach, especially with a focus on vision AI innovations," says Seeed's Joey Jiang of the companies' collaboration. "We're excited about Himax Technologies' launch of the WiseEye2 HX6538. This collaboration amplifies our efforts in visual machine learning, and we're proud to stand as partners with Himax."

"Our collaboration with Seeed Studio propels the WE2 technology into a broader market scope, thereby pioneering advancement in the field of endpoint AI devices," adds Mark Chen, vice president of smart sensing at Himax. "With its superb AI inference power, ultra-low power consumption, and information security features, WE2 has become the top choice for development of endpoint AI applications."

The WiseEye 2 HX6538, designed to deliver 32 times the performance and 50 times the energy efficiency of Himax's last-generation WiseEye design, pairs a pair of Arm Cortex-M55 microcontroller cores with an Ethos-U55 for acceleration of on-device machine learning and artificial intelligence workloads. Seeed's Grove Vision AI Module V2 takes the WiseEye 2 and places it on a thumb-sized development board with a MIPI Camera Serial Interface (CSI), on-board microphone, and microSD slot for storage.

Female pin headers on the top of the board provide support for Seeed's XIAO range of development boards, while the CSI connector is compatible with the popular Raspberry Pi Camera Module family. There's support for a range of on-device computer vision models, Seeed promises, alongside compatibility with the company's SenseCraft AI platform for code-free deployment. The WiseEye 2 chip processes the video on-device, then sends the results to a host machine or XIAO microcontroller over I2C or UART — with an Arduino library helping to process the data stream.

Himax and Seeed Studio are to demonstrate the Grove Vision AI Module V2 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next week, with interested parties invited to the Venetian Exhibit Suite Booth 34-208; while pricing has not yet been announced, more information on using the module is available on the Seeed wiki.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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