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Arduino Nicla Voice supports speech recognition, BL5.0 and integrates 9-Axis IMU

Jan 6, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 583 views

Arduino recently presented a compact low-power embedded module with machine learning capabilities. The Arduino Nicla Voice is based on the Syntiant NDP120 processor optimized for Deep Learning applications and the ANNA-B112 u-Blox module for wireless connectivity.

Similarly to the Nano 33 BLE Sense Rev2 recently featured, the Nicla Voice is equipped with the ANNA-B112 module based on the Nordic nRF52 SoC series along with the Syntiant Neural Decision Processor. 


  • Syntiant NDP120 – 1x Syntiant Core 2 U-LP deep neural network inference engine; 1x Tensilica HiFi 3 Audio DSP; 1x Arm Cortex M0 (up to 48MHz); 48KB SRAM
  • nRF52832 – Arm Cortex M4 (up to 64 MHz); 64KB SRAM, 512KB Flash mapped FIFOs, 12-bit/200 ksps ADC, 2.4-2.4835 GHz BL 5.0 via ARM Cordio stack, 4.2 via ArduinoBLE; Internal 32MHz oscillator, 1.8V operating voltage

NDP120 block diagram (left) and ANNA B112 block diagram (right)
(click images to enlarge)

According to the datasheet, the NDP120 supports “concurrent neural networks, 2D convolution, depth-wise convolution, recurrent neural network including LSTM and GRU, average and max pooling.“

Arduino Nicla Voice pinout
(click image to enlarge)

It also seems that the Nicla Voice features the same IMUs from BOSCH as the Nano 33 BLE Sense Rev2; in this case a 6-axis gyroscope (BMI270) and a 3-axis accelerometer (BMM150).

Arduino Nicla Voice top and bottom
(click image to enlarge)

Regarding the speech-recognition capability Arduino mentions, “the Nicla Voice speeds up the tempo of product development, whether your launch requires solutions that use voice to play music, make phone calls or pull up the blinds. It makes devices smarter by allowing for multiple wake words, replacing buttons users struggle with and helping designers integrate unobtrusive voice-command systems into stylish accessories.”

Specifications listed for the Arduino Nicla Voice include: 

  • Storage:
    • 16 MB SPI Flash
  • Connectivity: 
    • BLE 5.0, Bluetooth mesh
  • I/O Interfaces:
    • GPIOs 1.8V/3.3V
    • 10x Digital I/Os, 12x PWM pins
    • 1x I2C bus (w/ ESLOV connector)
    • 1x UART, 1x SPI
    • 2x ADC
  • Other Features:
    • 6-Axis IMU (BMI270)
    • 3-Axis IMU (BMM150)
    • 1x Digital MEMS Microphone (IM69D130)
    • 1x RGB LED
  • USB:
    • 1x USB Micro port (USB-B)
  • Operating Temperature:
    • 0°C to 70°C
  • Power:
    • 3.3V (via USB-B Micro port)
    • 3.7V Li-Po Battery & JST connector
  • Dimensions/Weight:
    • 22.86 x 22.86 mm
    • 2g

 Further information

As reports, the Arduino Nicla Voice will cost ~$82.00. Refer to the product announcement to subscribe to the waiting list. Documentation including the datasheet, libraries, schematics, STEP files and other guides can be found on the Hardware page for the Arduino Nicla Voice. 

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