Neural Processing Unit (NPU) enables Artificial Intelligence for automation tasks

With the new SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU (neural processing unit) module for the SIMATIC S7-1500 controller and the ET 200MP I/O system, AI is finding its way into automation with Totally Integration Automation. The module can be seamlessly integrated into the SIMATIC automation system, without the need for an additional PC-based hardware. This way permitting a simple and profitable combination of AI algorithms and PLC logic. This is how inexpensive and rescalable applications using SIMATIC can be implemented at the machine based on artificial intelligence. The SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module is equipped with the AI-capable MyriadTMX Vision processing unit chip from Intel MovidiusTM which enables the efficient processing of neural networks.


How you can benefit using the SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU to run AI models

Plant Engineering award

Meet the Automation & Controls Product of the Year!

The SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module was voted winner of Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year award in the Automation & Controls category.
Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year program is the premier award for new products in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries.

Rethinking automation

AI and PLC code? Yes please!

The SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module enables countless new approaches combining highest system reliability for automation systems with the ability to run AI based algorithms. What once seemed complex is suddenly surprisingly easy, and what used to be impossible is now possible. Let yourself be inspired.

Technology Modules - The solution for sophisticated technological tasks

SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU can be used centrally and decentrally as part of the ET 200MP I/O system like all other technology modules. Technology modules offer hardware-level signal processing for rapid counting, measurement and position registration for a variety of transducers as well as for the precise output of pulses.

Application examples

Innovative solutions to complex problems

The potential applications for the SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module are extremely varied. Applications in the areas of robotics, quality assurance, and condition monitoring are especially suitable – limited only by the user’s imagination.

Smart object recognition of any workpieces

The SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module uses the capabilities of neural networks to recognize complex patterns. Input data is processed with the help of knowledge acquired through machine learning. This means that even unknown components and workpieces can be recognized in any location or position.


This reduces engineering time by eliminating the time-consuming process of learning the individual objects and also increases productivity by preventing waste.


The SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module can be integrated directly into the PLC. This makes smart object recognition extremely economical, because no separate setup is required.

Visual quality check of products

The processing of image data in the SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module’s neural network enables reliable visual detection of quality defects. Using trained algorithms, image data is compared with predefined, extremely complex quality characteristics. This eliminates unexpected errors in the ongoing process and ensures constant product quality.


The QA station creates a bottleneck in many production processes, because checking product quality is often time-consuming.

In addition, checking the quality of more complex products has often needed to be performed manually. Using the SIMATIC S7-1500 TM NPU module – which can be integrated directly into the PLC – operators can now check the quality of ever-more complex products automatically, which also means more quickly, more cost-effectively, and more reliably.

Quality checking using sensor and production data

In many production sequences, the overview and evaluation of production data, such as energy, temperature, pressure, and surface, provide a reliable basis for the early detection of quality defects.


When production data recorded by sensors is transferred from the CPU to an S7-1500 TM NPU module integrated directly into the PLC, the module can use its neural network to analyze and evaluate complex patterns in the data and, if appropriate, cause the relevant product to be rejected.

This not only speeds up the quality assurance process, it also improves its reliability.


The direct way to your regional contact

Artificial intelligence is opening up brand-new perspectives. Perhaps you have a practical application in mind that you’d like to implement using the S7-1500 TM NPU module. Let us help you develop it!

Our AI automation experts look forward to working with customers in co-creation projects to develop new solutions based on the S7-1500 TM NPU module. 

Simply contact your Siemens regional sales partner and describe your idea, your desired results, and your timeframe for implementation. If you already have AI experience, all the better!