SiFive, Inc., the provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP and silicon solutions and CEVA, Inc., the licensor of wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies, are partnering to enable the design and creation of ultra-low-power domain-specific Edge AI processors for high-volume end markets.
The partnership, as part of SiFive's DesignShare program, is centered around RISC-V CPUs, CEVA's DSP cores, AI processors and software, which will be designed into SoCs targeting an array of end markets where on-device neural networks inferencing supporting imaging, computer vision, speech recognition and sensor fusion applications is required. Initial end markets include smart home, automotive, robotics, security and surveillance, augmented reality, industrial and IoT.
Domain-specific SoCs which can handle machine learning processing on-device are set to become mainstream, as the processing workloads of devices increasingly includes a mix of traditional software and efficient deep neural networks to maximize performance, battery life and to add new intelligent features. Cloud-based AI inference is not suitable for many of these devices due to security, privacy and latency concerns. SiFive and CEVA are developing a range of domain-specific scalable edge AI processor designs, offering a balance of processing, power efficiency and cost.
The Edge AI SoCs are supported by CEVA's CDNN Deep Neural Network machine learning software compiler that creates fully-optimized runtime software for the CEVA-XM vision processors, CEVA-BX audio DSPs and NeuPro AI processors. Targeted for mass-market embedded devices, CDNN incorporates network optimizations, quantization algorithms, data flow management and fully-optimized compute CNN and RNN libraries into a solution that enables cloud-trained AI models to be deployed on edge devices for inference processing. CEVA will also supply a full development platform for partners and developers based on the CEVA-XM and NeuPro architectures to enable the development of deep learning applications using the CDNN, targeting any advanced network, as well as DSP tools and libraries for audio and voice pre- and post-processing workloads.
The SiFive DesignShare IP program offers a streamlined process for companies seeking to partner with vendors to provide pre-integrated premium Silicon IP for bringing new SoCs to market. As part of SiFive's business model to license IP when ready for mass production, the flexibility and choice of the DesignShare IP program reduces the complexities of contract negotiation and licensing agreements to enable faster time to market through simpler prototyping, no legal red tape, and no upfront payment.
SiFive's DesignShare program, including CEVA-BX Audio DSPs, CEVA-XM Vision DSPs and NeuPro AI processors, is available now.