New Industry Products

Ultra Low-Power Edge AI Chip and 3D Artificial Intelligence Solution

May 21, 2019 by Scott McMahan

Kneron debuted the company's new 3D artificial intelligence solution and AI chip.  Named after its release date of May 20th, Kneron's new AI chip KL520 boasts the best-in-class power efficiency and only consumes a few hundred milli-watts, bringing AI computation power to edge devices for various applications.

Building Global AI Partnerships

Kneron also announced partnerships with industry leaders to bring their chip to market. The partnerships include fabless IC maker Etron Technology Inc., enterprise PC OEM AAEON Technology Inc., US-listed company Himax Technologies Inc., 3C solution provider Alltek Technology Corp, IC design house Datang Semiconductor, renowned ODM players Pegatron and 3D sensing provider Orbbec.

Proprietary Reconfigurable Architecture

The KL520 edge AI chip is a culmination of Kneron's core technologies, bringing together proprietary software and hardware designs into a highly efficient and ultra low-power Neural Processing Unit (NPU). The company points out that running AI computations on the end device will help generate real-time insights without relying on the cloud.

Specifically, KL520 is equipped with a unique reconfigurable architecture which allows the chip to run a number of different convolutional neural networks (CNN) based on different applications, regardless of its input size, kernel size, or architecture requirements.

In turn, the chip can achieve a very high MAC (media access control) efficiency, a fundamental metric for efficient computation. This software innovation lets the chip dynamically adjust its function based on the needs of applications, in order to achieve maximum efficiency.

With a proprietary compression technology, the KL520 can compress a large AI neural network into a very small footprint to process on an edge device, without consuming large amounts of power.

Kneron says its hardware and software innovations are truly a breakthrough in edge AI development.

Bringing elements of reconfigurability and compression onto the chip enables the KL520 is provide AI computation to various end-devices that operate in low-powered environments.

Features and Target Applications

  • Low-powered with a small physical footprint
  • The KL250 can run alongside a main chip as a co-processor; will not need a replacement chip
  • For smart door lock applications, KL520 includes two ARM Cortex M4 CPU, which can serve as the main processor.
  • Balances the need of performance, power and cost to bring the best solution for edge applications
  • Applicable to various 3D sensor technologies such as structured light, dual-camera and ToF, and Kneron's exclusive 3D sensing technology
  • Well-suited for applications including smart locks, security cameras, drones, smart home appliances and robotics

"We are determined to deliver the best-in-class edge AI solution to the market. The results that we have achieved over the past four years are very promising, and we are proud to receive recognitions from industry partners for our innovations," Kneron's Founder and CEO, Albert Liu said.

Liu also mentioned that Kneron will releasing its second-generation chip during Q4 this year. The second generation chip will target the surveillance and security market. The team will also exhibit at CES Asia 2019 in June, showcasing Kneron's latest products to partners and potential customers.