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AI-Leader Horizon Robotics Selects NetSpeed AI-based NoC IP For Next Generation Designs

Feb. 05, 2018 – If you haven't noticed, there has been a BIG influx of money into Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. Most recently, the Chinese government announced that AI is one of their top initiatives with a goal to catch up with the United States within 3 years and to be the world leader in AI by the year 2030. Horizon Robotics, founded in 2015, is one of China's AI startups. It just closed a $100M A-round funding led by Intel Capital in October 2017 with the intent to build AI-based hardware and software targeted for use in autonomous vehicles, smart homes and smart cities. They plan to differentiate themselves by building low power, low cost intelligent processors that will enable devices to perceive, interact, understand and make decisions locally in the fog instead of having to transmit data to the cloud.

To accomplish their goal, Horizon's team led by founder Kai Yu, former head of Baidu's Institute of Deep Learning, has created a unique architecture they call their Brain Processing Unit (BPU). The architecture is open and allows for it to be targeted to multiple different compute platforms and end-markets applications. One of Horizon's main goals is to be able to make any device an intelligent entity that can "think" locally without having to communicate to the cloud. That implies a lot of on-chip compute power, while also being cost effective enough to be sold in high volumes.

Because Horizon's AI solutions are dealing with the real world, their chips have complex heterogeneous architectures that utilize multiple different processing engines, embedded memories and a variety of different sensor interfaces. Streaming data from sensors is fused into a homogeneous semantic environment upon which various hardware-accelerated AI-engines work to perceive objects, identify them and then predict their behavior. This implies an architecture that must deal with real-time cache coherency between different processors running at different speeds and workloads. Click here to read more ...


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