Neural Networks Without Matrix Math


The challenge of speeding up AI systems typically means adding more processing elements and pruning the algorithms, but those approaches aren't the only path forward. Almost all commercial machine learning applications depend on artificial neural networks, which are trained using large datasets with a back-propagation algorithm. The network first analyzes a training example, typically assign... » read more

Zeroing In On Biological Computing


Artificial spiking neural networks need to replicate both excitatory and inhibitory biological neurons in order to emulate the neural activation patterns seen in biological brains. Doing this with CMOS-based designs is challenging because of the large circuit footprint required. However, researchers at HP Labs observed that one biologically plausible model, the Hodgkins-Huxley model, is math... » read more

Spiking Neural Networks Place Data In Time


Artificial neural networks have found a variety of commercial applications, from facial recognition to recommendation engines. Compute-in-memory accelerators seek to improve the computational efficiency of these networks by helping to overcome the von Neumann bottleneck. But the success of artificial neural networks also highlights their inadequacies. They replicate only a small subset of th... » read more

Are Better Machine Training Approaches Ahead?


We live in a time of unparalleled use of machine learning (ML), but it relies on one approach to training the models that are implemented in artificial neural networks (ANNs) — so named because they’re not neuromorphic. But other training approaches, some of which are more biomimetic than others, are being developed. The big question remains whether any of them will become commercially viab... » read more

Spiking Neural Networks: Research Projects or Commercial Products?


Spiking neural networks (SNNs) often are touted as a way to get close to the power efficiency of the brain, but there is widespread confusion about what exactly that means. In fact, there is disagreement about how the brain actually works. Some SNN implementations are less brain-like than others. Depending on whom you talk to, SNNs are either a long way away or close to commercialization. Th... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 5


Spiking neural network radar chip Imec has developed what the R&D organization says is the world’s first chip that processes radar signals using a spiking recurrent neural network. Initially, the chip from Imec is designed for low-power, anti-collision radar systems in drones. Neural networks are used in the field of machine learning. A subset of AI, machine learning utilizes a neu... » read more

New Ways To Optimize Machine Learning


As more designers employ machine learning (ML) in their systems, they’re moving from simply getting the application to work to optimizing the power and performance of their implementations. Some techniques are available today. Others will take time to percolate through the design flow and tools before they become readily available to mainstream designers. Any new technology follows a basic... » read more

Memory Issues For AI Edge Chips


Several companies are developing or ramping up AI chips for systems on the network edge, but vendors face a variety of challenges around process nodes and memory choices that can vary greatly from one application to the next. The network edge involves a class of products ranging from cars and drones to security cameras, smart speakers and even enterprise servers. All of these applications in... » read more

How Much Power Will AI Chips Use?


AI and machine learning have voracious appetites when it comes to power. On the training side, they will fully utilize every available processing element in a highly parallelized array of processors and accelerators. And on the inferencing side they, will continue to optimize algorithms to maximize performance for whatever task a system is designed to do. But as with cars, mileage varies gre... » read more

The MCU Dilemma


The humble microcontroller is getting squeezed on all sides. While most of the semiconductor industry has been able to take advantage of Moore's Law, the MCU market has faltered because flash memory does not scale beyond 40nm. At the same time, new capabilities such as voice activation and richer sensor networks are requiring inference engines to be integrated for some markets. In others, re... » read more

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