NXP signs AI startup for development tool

NXP signs AI startup for development tool

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

NXP has signed an exclusive, strategic partnership with Au-Zone Technologies in Canada to add the  DeepView ML intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) and embedded runtime inference engine to NXP’s eIQ development environment.

DeepView provides developers of all experience levels to import datasets and models, and rapidly train and deploy NN models and ML workloads across the NXP Edge processing portfolio.

NXP is the lead technology partner for ARM’s Ethos-U65 microNPU (Neural Processing Unit). This microNPU supports up to 1 TOPS (512 parallel multiply-accumulate operations at 1GHz) and will be integrated into future i.MX applications processors for edge AI.

NXP previously acquired Red Code Technologies in May 2013 to add to its Eclipse-based LPCXpresso development environment which runs alongside eIQ.

The combined eIQ-DeepViewML Tool Suite will provide developers with the ability to prune, quantize, validate, and deploy public or proprietary NN models on NXP devices. It’s on-target, graph-level profiling capability will provide developers with unique, run-time insights to optimize NN model architectures, system parameters, and run-time performance.

“NXP’s scalable applications processors deliver an efficient product platform and a broad ecosystem for our customers to quickly deliver innovative systems,” said Ron Martino, senior vice president and general manager of Edge Processing business line at NXP Semiconductors.

“Through these partnerships with both Arm and Au-Zone, in addition to technology developments within NXP, our goal is to continuously increase the efficiency of our processors while simultaneously increasing our customers’ productivity and reducing their time to market. NXP’s vision is to help our customers achieve lower cost of ownership, maintain high levels of security with critical data, and to stay safe with enhanced forms of human-machine-interaction.”

A key feature of the DeepView run-time inference engine is that it optimizes the system memory usage and data movement uniquely for each SoC architecture.

“Au-Zone is incredibly excited to announce this investment and strategic partnership with NXP, especially with its exciting roadmap for additional ML accelerated devices,” said Brad Scott, CEO of Au-Zone. “We created DeepView to provide developers with intuitive tools and inferencing technology, so this partnership represents a great union of world class silicon, run-time inference engine technology, and a development environment that will further accelerate the deployment of embedded ML features. This partnership builds on a decade of engineering collaboration with NXP and will serve as a catalyst to deliver more advanced Machine Learning technologies and turnkey solutions as OEM’s continue to transition inferencing to the Edge.”

“There has been a surge of AI and ML across industrial and IoT applications driving demand for more on-device ML capabilities,” said Dennis Laudick, vice president of Marketing, Machine Learning Group, at Arm. “The Ethos-U65 will power a new wave of edge AI, providing NXP customers with secure, reliable, and smart on-device intelligence.”

NXP won’t say when the Ethos-U65-based i.MX will be ready, but the eIQ-DeepViewML Tool Suite and DeepView run-time inference engine, integrated into eIQ, will be available Q1, 2021.

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