Mar 23, 2021

How Flex Logix designs chips for edge AI computing

AI
Machine Learning
Neural networks
edge
William Smith
2 min
As AI applications are becoming increasingly remote,  it’s vital that AI processing can be done in a more distributed manner
As AI applications are becoming increasingly remote, it’s vital that AI processing can be done in a more distributed manner...

Historically, machine learning and neural networks have required centralised processing power, but as AI applications are becoming increasingly remote, such as in autonomous vehicles or the computer vision capabilities of a mobile phone, it’s vital that AI processing can be done in a more distributed manner.

In that vein, semiconductor firm Flex Logix Technologies designs chips and software for the acceleration of AI at the edge.

AI edge inference accelerator

The Mountain View, California-based company is currently producing chips and boards called InferX X1 which include features such as embedded Field Programmable Grid Arrays (eFPGA), which can add AI programming capabilities, and AI inference, which puts deep learning to use, in order to accelerate AI computing at the edge.

The company’s AI inference architecture is optimised for computer vision applications, with neural networks supported by tensor processors that rapidly connect compute and memory.

$55mn backing

Since the company’s foundation in 2014 it has raised nearly $70mn, with its latest Series D, announced yesterday, being by far its biggest to date - clocking in at $55mn. The round was led by Mithril Capital Management, alongside existing investors Lux Capital, Eclipse Ventures and the Tate Family Trust.

"We are impressed with the very high inference-throughput/$ architecture that Flex Logix has developed based on unique intellectual property that gives it a sustainable competitive advantage in a very high growth market," said Ajay Royan, managing general partner and founder of Mithril Capital Management. "This technology advantage positions Flex Logix for rapid growth in edge enterprise inference in applications such as medical, retail, industrial, robotics and more.”

Geoff Tate, CEO and Co-founder of Flex Logix said: "Our InferX X1 chips and boards will be available for mass production in mid 2021 along with availability of our InferX Inference compiler, which takes in Tensorflow Lite and ONNX neural network models and generates the code to run InferX X1 without the detailed programming other solutions require."

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

Microsoft
NASCAR
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

 

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