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LeapMind Unveils Efficiera Ultra Low-Power AI Inference Accelerator IP

Today LeapMind announced Efficiera, an ultra-low power AI inference accelerator IP for companies that design ASIC and FPGA circuits, and other related products. Efficiera will enable customers to develop cost-effective, low power edge devices and accelerate go-to-market of custom devices featuring AI capabilities.

Efficiera functions as a circuit in an FPGA or ASIC device. Its “extreme low bit quantization” technology, which minimizes the number of quantized bits to 1–2 bits, does not require cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing processes or the use of specialized cell libraries to maximize the power and space efficiency associated with convolution operations, which account for a majority of inference processing.

This product enables the inclusion of deep learning capabilities in various edge devices that are technologically limited by power consumption and cost, such as consumer appliances (household electrical goods), industrial machinery (construction equipment), surveillance cameras, and broadcasting equipment as well as miniature machinery and robots with limited heat dissipation capabilities.

LeapMind is simultaneously launching several related products and services: “Efficiera SDK,” a software development tool providing a dedicated learning and development environment for Efficiera, the “Efficiera Deep Learning Model” for efficient training of deep learning models, and “Efficiera Professional Services,” an application-specific semi-custom model building service based on LeapMind’s expertise that enables customers to build extreme low bit quantized deep learning models applicable to their own unique requirements.

Target Applications include:

  • “Hazard Proximity Detection” using object detection. Helps ensure safety when using industrial vehicles such as construction machinery, by detecting surrounding people and obstacles.
  • “High quality video streaming” using noise reduction. Improves image quality by eliminating image noise when shooting under low-light conditions and by blocking noise caused by image codecs.
  • “Higher resolution for video footage” using super-resolution. Converts low-resolution video data into resolutions suitable for display devices.

Efficiera offers excellent power and space efficiencies, contributing to power savings and providing cost reductions in AI-equipped products. In addition, because the circuit information is licensed rather than being provided as a module or device, customers can integrate Efficiera within a device featuring other circuits, thereby contributing to reduced BoM (Bill of Materials) costs for mass-produced products equipped with AI capabilities.

The circuit configuration:

  • Power Savings: The power required for convolutional processing is reduced by minimizing the amount of data transfer and the number of bits.
  • Performance: The number of calculation cycles can be reduced by reducing the calculation logic, thereby improving calculation performance relative to area and on a per cycle basis.
  • Space savings: The silicon area is reduced while maintaining performance by reducing the calculation logic using 1–2 bit quantization; thus, the area per computing unit is minimized.

LeapMind plans to ship “Efficiera” in the Fall of 2020.

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