Mostly Upbeat Outlook For Chips


2019 has started with cautious optimism for the semiconductor industry, despite dark clouds that dot the horizon. Market segments such as cryptocurrencies and virtual reality are not living up to expectations, the market for smart phones appears to be saturated, and DRAM prices are dropping, leading to cut-backs in capital expenditures. EDA companies are talking about sales to China being pu... » read more

IoT Merging Into Data-Driven Design


The Internet of Things is becoming more difficult to define and utilize for an effective business strategy. While an increasing number devices send data to the cloud or some local server, so much data is being generated and moved around that new strategies are being developed to rethink what needs to be processed where. Back in 2013, when the IoT concept really began taking off, connectivity... » read more

Edge Inferencing Challenges


Geoff Tate, CEO of Flex Logix, talks about balancing different variables to improve performance and reduce power at the lowest cost possible in order to do inferencing in edge devices. https://youtu.be/1BTxwew--5U » read more

Overview of NMAX Neural Inferencing


At HotChips 2018, Microsoft presented the attached slide in their Brainwave presentation: the ideal is to achieve high hardware utilization at low batch size. Existing architectures don’t do this: they have high utilization only at high batch sizes which means high latency. NMAX’ architecture loads weights quickly achieving almost the same high utilization at batch=1 as at large batch sizes... » read more

Lies, Damn Lies, And TOPS/Watt


There are almost a dozen vendors promoting inferencing IP, but none of them gives even a ResNet-50 benchmark. The only information they state typically is TOPS (Tera-Operations/Second) and TOPS/Watt. These two indicators of performance and power efficiency are almost useless by themselves. So what, exactly, does X TOPS really tell you about performance for your application? When a vendor ... » read more

AI Market Ramps Everywhere


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has inspired the general populace, but its rapid rise over the past few years has given many people pause. From realistic concerns about robots taking over jobs to sci-fi scares about robots more intelligent than humans building ever smarter robots themselves, AI inspires plenty of angst. Within the technology industry, we have a better understanding about the pote... » read more

What Makes A Chip Design Successful Today?


"Transistors are free" was the rallying cry of the semiconductor industry during the 1990s and early 2000s. That is no longer true. The end of Dennard scaling made the simultaneous use of all the transistors troublesome, but transistors remained effectively unlimited. This led to an era where large amounts of flexibility could be built into a chip. It didn't matter if all of it was being use... » read more

High Neural Inferencing Throughput At Batch=1


Microsoft presented the following slide as part of their Brainwave presentation at Hot Chips this summer: In existing inferencing solutions, high throughput (and high % utilization of the hardware) is possible for large batch sizes: this means that instead of processing say one image at a time, the inferencing engine processes say 10 or 50 images in parallel. This minimizes the number of... » read more

Inferencing In Hardware


Cheng Wang, senior vice president of engineering at Flex Logix, examines shifting neural network models, how many multiply-accumulates are needed for different applications, and why programmable neural inferencing will be required for years to come. https://youtu.be/jb7qYU2nhoo         See other tech talk videos here. » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Lowe’s, the home improvement retailer, is giving up on the smart home market. The company is putting its Iris Smart Home business up for sale as part of a reorganization. The retailer made a big splash at CES 2015 with its Innovation Lab offerings, which included retail service robots and the Holoroom “home improvement simulator.” The Iris product line includes multipl... » read more

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