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DeePhi Accelerates Xilinx AI Strategy

September 18, 2018

Author: Mike Demler

Xilinx recently acquired DeePhi, a developer of FPGA-based accelerators for computer vision and speech recognition. DeePhi developed two different neural-network inference engines, which it delivers preinstalled on a family of Zynq-powered PCIe cards. The Aristotle architecture targets convolutional neural networks (CNNs), and Descartes is for recurrent neural networks (RNNs) that use long-short term memory (LSTM).

DeePhi integrates Aristotle on its DP-2400-xxx video cards, in various configurations that come with software for advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), face analytics/tracking, video surveillance, and other applications. Descartes powers the company’s speech-recognition engine. Customers can access the Descartes technology on Amazon’s web service (AWS) and Huawei’s cloud platform.

The DeePhi designs fit Xilinx’s plan to offer a library of soft-overlay architectures for its FPGAs, including the next-generation 7nm Everest products. The overlays don’t eliminate the need for HDL-based design, but they offers a much shorter time to market (or at least to prototype) than using licensed IP cores to build an ASIC. The success of the overlay program will depend on competitive application-specific IP designs developed by experts such as DeePhi, along with software tools that make integration easier than traditional FPGA design flows.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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