Start-up awarded grant to develop AI computer vision module

Start-up awarded grant to develop AI computer vision module

Technology News |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Blueshift Memory, innovator of a novel proprietary high-speed computer architecture, has announced that it has been selected to receive one of the prestigious Smart Grants awarded by Innovate UK (part of UK Research and Innovation) during early 2022. The highly-competitive £25 million Smart fund helps a group of UK SMEs to swiftly commercialise the best game-changing ideas, which are required to be genuinely new and novel as well as disruptive within their sector — in this case a novel AI computer vision module for IoT applications.

Blueshift Memory’s 13-month project is entitled “Research on the application of a new generation memory architecture in computer vision AI solutions for IoT devices”. Its aim is to develop a next-generation computer vision application on edge devices for the Internet of Things (IoT), based around the company’s unique computer architecture (the Cambridge Architecture™).

Computer vision uses AI to enable the content of digital images to be analysed and interpreted by a computer in a similar way to how they are perceived by a human being, and to trigger actionable responses based on the results. This ability for computers to ‘see’ is crucial to solving a wide range of real-world problems in fields including robotics, Industry 4.0, Smart Cities and autonomous vehicles, but it currently requires a significant level of computing capacity that necessitates high power consumption. 

“By dramatically increasing memory access speed, the compact computer vision AI module we are developing will open up use cases such as onboard real-time scenario analysis in body-worn cameras,” said Peter Marosan, Founder and CEO of Blueshift Memory. “It will also help us demonstrate the potential benefits of the Cambridge Architecture IP for larger system-on-chip designs for applications like High Frequency Trading and In-Memory Databases.”

“It is a great achievement for Blueshift Memory to have won a Smart Grant for this work, as it is a highly competitive selection procedure. Our project is one of only 71 out of a total of 1072 applications that were successful in securing funding in this round,” he added.

The Blueshift Memory approach is radically different from the GPUs that are presently being used for computer vision AI. The current project involves custom configuration of a FPGA using deep learning, optimising it for faster performance and better power efficiency. It is also planned to integrate this technology into an ASIC, along with leading-edge RISC-V processor capability.

The Cambridge Architecture — which reduces the performance gap between the processor and memory and provides faster calculations in high-performance computing — will be demonstrated in the final FPGA design that is being developed under the Smart Grant project.

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