AI Accelerator Card for Edge Applications Like Internet of Things

Kneron, the San Diego and Taipei-based AI algorithm, core IP and fabless chip company, and industrial PC maker Aaeon have an AI accelerator card for edge applications based on the company’s first chip, the KL520. The M2AI-2280-520 card will accelerate AI models in IoT, smart home, security and mobile devices.

The KL520 runs 0.3 TOPS (trillion operations per second) at 0.5 W (equivalent to 0.6 TOPS/W).

It is optimized for image processing models based on convolutional neural networks (CNNs), including but not limited to Kneron’s own models for facial recognition. Kneron also has its own neural processing unit (NPU) IP, neural network models for image processing, and a toolchain.

Kneron’s facial recognition model was previously recognized by NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) as the best performing model under 100MB.

“In fact, the model is 57 MB,” Ong said. “It even outperformed competitors’ models that were bigger than 1 GB. For embedded applications, it can be compressed even further, down to 32 or even 16 MB.”

Kneron NPU IP Series are neural network processors that have been designed for edge devices. These processors provide high computing performance with low power consumption and are small in size. Kneron NPU IP Series can be applied to smart homes, smart surveillance, smartphones, and wearable devices that have high requirement for low power and space. The entire product consumes under 0.5W and can even drop below 5mW for specific applications.

The KL520 edge AI chip is a culmination of Kneron’s core technologies, combining proprietary software and hardware designs to create a highly efficient and ultra low-power Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Running AI computations on the end device will help generate real-time insights without relying on the cloud.

Features and targeted applications for the KL520:

* Low-powered with a small physical footprint
* The KL250 can run alongside a main chip as a co-processor; will not need a replacement chip
* For smart door lock applications, KL520 includes two ARM Cortex M4 CPU, which can serve as the main processor.
* Balances the need of performance, power and cost to bring the best solution for edge applications
* Applicable to various 3D sensor technologies such as structured light, dual-camera and ToF, and Kneron’s exclusive 3D sensing technology
* Well-suited for applications including smart locks, security cameras, drones, smart home appliances and robotics

Kneron will be releasing its second-generation chip during Q4 of 2019 which will target the surveillance and security market. Samples of the second generation will be available in Q1 2020.

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