Edge AI platform coming from Brainchip, Socionext partnership

Categories Edge Computing News  |  Hardware
Edge AI platform coming from Brainchip, Socionext partnership

Brainchip and video and imaging technology-maker Socionext Inc. have partnered to offer a reference design for edge applications such as facial recognition in surveillance and live-streaming systems at ultra-low power. Brainchip, meanwhile, said it is getting closer to securing a proof-of-concept opportunity with a top-tier US auto manufacturer-a significant chance to showcase the viability of its technology.

Socionext provides SoC (system-on-chip) technology and brings its parallel multi-core processor SynQuacer SC2A11 to the new AI reference platform as a server solution. Socionext also played a role in the development of Brainchip’s Akida integrated circuit (IC) and the companies plan to work together to expand the global edge AI market.

Brainchip, in addition to the Akida SoC, will provide training and technical support to customers, including network simulation on its Akida Development Environment (ADE), emulation on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), and engineering application support. The result is a high-performance, small footprint, ultra-low power technology enabling a wide range of edge capabilities, including local inferencing and incremental learning, according to the announcement.

“Our neural network technology enables ultra-low power AI technology to be implemented effectively in edge applications,” said Louis DiNardo, CEO of BrainChip. “Edge devices have size and power consumption constraints that require a high degree of integration in IC solutions. The combination of BrainChip’s technology and Socionext’s ASIC expertise fulfills the requirements of edge applications.”

Brainchip opened the ADE and showcased its Akida edge processor earlier this year.

“The Akida family of products allows us to stay at the forefront of the burgeoning AI market. BrainChip and Socionext have successfully collaborated on the Akida IC development and together, we aim to commercialize this product family and support our increasingly diverse customer base” commented Socionext Inc. Corporate Executive Vice President Noriaki Kubo.

Brainchip offers investor outlook

Brainchip CEO Louis DiNardo, Founder, and CTO Peter van der Made, and Founder and CDO Anil Mankar provided a market and product development update to investors, revealing the company is close to a proof-of-concept agreement with a Detroit-based Tier 1 automaker. It is also moving forward with a proof-of-concept agreement with a European Tier 1 module supplier. The smart home and smart city markets are also promising areas for Brainchip, according to the presentation.

The company is relatively unaffected by the pandemic, with internal communication and productivity remaining in a normal range, executives told investors. Among other cost control measures, the decision has been made to join in on the production of a multi-project wafer to keep costs down.

More funds will be needed to fuel Brainchip’s mission, and the company is evaluating its options for different options to secure capital. Executives expressed optimism about commercial prospects for commercialization and said they believe Brainchip will be positioned for success based on the more efficient system design and broader applicability of its chip architecture to different use cases based on its Akida technology, compared to the competition.

The company’s next financial update is scheduled for April 30.

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