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EDGX, BrainChip unite to create data processing units for space

Categories Connectivity  |  Edge Computing News  |  Hardware
EDGX, BrainChip unite to create data processing units for space

EDGX, a Belgian SpaceTech company, and BrainChip, a neuromorphic computing device provider, have partnered to develop data processing units for challenging environments.

The pair signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding at the European Space Agency’s (ESA) EDHPC Conference in Juan-les-Pins, France.

Both companies note that space infrastructure is increasingly crucial in our daily lives as it supports essential aspects such as navigation, weather forecasting and secure communications.

Nick Destrycker, the founder and CEO of EDGX, envisions a future where interconnected satellites, fueled by advanced AI, provide real-time data connectivity for humans and machines.

“This is where BrainChip’s Akida technology comes into play, the event-based accelerator for AI at the edge, which coincides perfectly with our vision in developing brain-inspired data processing units for space,” explains Destrycker.

To achieve self-sustainability, the space industry is witnessing a rise in satellite launches. Recognizing this demand, EDGX is currently developing a data processing unit. This unit combines AI acceleration with neuromorphic computing, enhancing next-generation satellites’ power efficiency and autonomous learning capabilities.

Laurent Hili, an engineer with expertise in microelectronics and data handling at ESA, emphasizes Akida’s unique capability to operate in two distinct modes. The first mode is more conventional, ensuring compatibility with established neural networks. The second mode is event-based, which reduces power consumption while maintaining performance.

“Power is at a premium in the space environment,” adds Hili. “Event-based processing may easily open a door into a new realm of processing in space to do things which were not possible before.”

According to Peter van der Made, the founder and CTO at BrainChip, the Akida roadmap was designed to provide high-performance, ultra-low power processing without constant connection to the cloud, making it suitable for constrained environments like space.

“BrainChip’s focus on combining neuromorphic principles with the benefits of the deep learning ecosystem, customization and continuous learning matches EDGX’s requirements for disruptive technology. We are excited to partner with them to truly push the boundaries of what is possible,” says van der Made.

Last month, BrainChip entered into a strategic partnership with VVDN Technologies to collaborate on the development of the Edge Box. Designed for processing data and performing computations at the network edge, this edge device harnesses the power of neuromorphic technology, drawing inspiration from the human brain. The result is a hardware platform that enhances power efficiency but also delivers outstanding performance for a wide range of edge applications, the company says.

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