The billions of devices that are expected to proliferate in the coming years at the “edge” of networks, such as autonomous vehicles and embedded Internet-of-Things, present manufacturers with a quandary: the manufacturers want to add smarts to the devices via machine learning, but they can’t know what exactly to add until they test their neural networks and see what works out there in the marketplace. Coming in to save the day, so they contend, is a six-year-old startup company named Efinix, based in Santa Clara. The company has been refining the art of programmable chips. It now says that its customers can use its parts to first test a market for AI, and then, once the right neural nets are developed, mass-produce chips to serve those nets. Also: AI Startup Cornami reveals details of neural net chip The company’s chief executive, Sammy Cheung, took some time to talk with ZDNet about Efinix’s technology on the sidelines of the Linley Group Fall Processor Conference last week, hosted by venerable semiconductor analysis firm The Linley Group. “A customer of mine is a camera company from Taiwan,” explains Cheung. “Each model of connected camera that they design and sell may initially only be tens of thousands of units.” “They didn’t know how to go after a market for products with millions of units; now they can go after something much higher volume.” The task of AI on these edge devices is “inference,” the part of machine learning when the neural net uses what… [Read full story]
ZDNet is a business technology news website published by CBS Interactive, along with TechRepublic. The brand was founded on April 1, 1991, as a general interest technology portal from Ziff Davis and evolved into an enterprise IT-focused online publication owned by CNET Networks.