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Vsora Drives to Deliver Petaflops

December 3, 2020

Author: Mike Demler

Vsora has jumped into the race to provide DSPs and deep-learning accelerators (DLAs) for autonomous vehicles (AVs). The French startup aims to pass its more established rivals by offering the new ADxxxx intellectual property (IP), which it designed to handle perception and sensor fusion in Level 4 and 5 self-driving cars. Unlike most DSP+DLA combos, all of the ADxxxx’s compute units execute floating-point operations, but they implement a configurable architecture that allows designers to select the exponent and mantissa precision to fit their area, power, and precision requirements.

The company’s first product is the AD1028, which integrates 24-bit floating-point ALUs in the DSP and 8-bit floating-point multiply-accumulate (MAC) units in the DLA. Running at 2.0GHz in 7nm technology, it delivers one quadrillion FP8 AI operations per second (1.0Pflop/s), along with four trillion FP24 DSP operations per second (4.0Tflop/s). Typical power consumption is 35W, yielding an unparalleled 30 TOPS per watt.

Vsora is only three years old, having introduced its first product with support from $1.7 million in Series A funding. But it’s off to a good start, rightly focusing its initial product on the needs of automotive customers. The French company’s technology looks promising, but it will need additional funding to keep pace with more-established vendors in the highly competitive AV market.

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