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Neural-Net Inference Benchmarks

The upshot: MLPerf has announced inference benchmarks for neural networks, along with initial results.

Congratulations! You now have the unenviable task of deciding which neural-network (NN) inference engine to use in your application. You want, of course, the fastest one. And it needs to run at the edge on a battery-powered device. All you have to do is compare all of the options out there to see which works best!

But here’s the thing: there’s an enormous amount of variability … Read More → "Neural-Net Inference Benchmarks"

Not Your Grandmother’s Embedded Systems

As I mentioned in a recent column — [Electronic] Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future — the fact that we have just drifted into the year 2020, which means we are now 1/5th the way through the 21st century, is giving me pause for thought about how fast technology is changing. Take a moment to think about all the developments that have taken place over the past 100 years or so. How do you think things will change … Read More → "Not Your Grandmother’s Embedded Systems"

Silexica Bridges the HLS Gap

Today, we call it “acceleration” – the use of specialized hardware to optimize compute tasks that do not perform well on conventional von Neumann processors. We have entered an “age of acceleration” driven primarily by the explosion in AI technology. Countless startups are engaged in developing chips with alternative architectures that accelerate and parallelize various types of compute-intensive algorithms. As a result, we are living in a heterogeneous computing world with processors and accelerators working side by side on a new generation of applications. It is possible, even likely, that this proliferation of acceleration will subsume our … Read More → "Silexica Bridges the HLS Gap"

What Makes Secure Processors Different?

“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears this is true.” ― James Branch Cabell

Given the magnificent complexity of modern microprocessors, it’s inevitable that they’ll have bugs and security holes. It might even be physically impossible to create a bug-free CPU, but that’s a mathematics/physics/EDA/statistics/philosophical conundrum that’s above my paygrade. For now, we finds the bugs and we works around ’em. 

Read More → "What Makes Secure Processors Different?"

Large ASIL-D Chips

The upshot: Optima claims to have accelerated functional-safety fault coverage by 1000x, making possible large ASIL-D chips.

Functional safety is the new headache on the block. Once reserved for mil/aero designs only, automobiles have now shoved it into the spotlight.  We’ve talked about it before, but much of the discussion, perhaps not always explicitly stated, had practical impact mostly for lower-ASIL designs – that is, … Read More → "Large ASIL-D Chips"

Make Your Design Audio Savvy

Voice control and audio interfaces are popping up in a wide spectrum of applications these days, and the possibilities extend far beyond Alexa, Google, and Siri. But adding an audio interface to your design is a complex task, and design teams face serious challenges in meeting common constraints like privacy, security, noise immunity, handling multiple speakers or sound sources, and performance. Simply extracting clear voice information from a noisy environment can be a complex task involving multiple microphones and beamforming/DSP processing.

This week, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) … Read More → "Make Your Design Audio Savvy"

Graph-Based AI Accelerators

We’ve looked at a number of architectures for accelerating neural-network inference calculations before. As an example, those we saw from Hot Chips were big, beefy processing units best targeted at cloud-based inference. But, as we’ve mentioned, there is lots of energy going into the development of inference engines that would work at the edge, with more modest power and performance expectations.

And, regardless of architecture or … Read More → "Graph-Based AI Accelerators"

How to Get Rich (I Think)

“Plastics.” – Mr. McGuire, “The Graduate”

We’re kicking off the new year with valuable, never-to-be-repeated business advice. 

Silicon Valley, like Las Vegas and parts of New York, is full of people with get-rich-quick schemes. But I’ve got a foolproof plan. I want to say just one word to you. Are you listening? Infrastructure. 

Forget making must-have products or killer apps. The real path to riches in this industry is … Read More → "How to Get Rich (I Think)"

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