OKI IDS Co., Ltd. (OIDS; president: Satoshi Shimizu; head office: Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture), an OKI Group company providing firmware and hardware design and development services, has teamed with Mipsology SAS (CEO: Ludovic Larzul; head office: France), the company providing the Zebra neural network machine learning accelerating software for use with FPGAs.*1 The partners today announced the signing of a technical partnership agreement on October 20, 2020, with the stated goal of entering the domestic Japanese high-speed ML-based image processing market. This agreement marks the launch of a design and development service intended to support faster ML processing based on FPGA technology in domestic Japanese markets for applications requiring high-speed image processing, including autonomous driving, remotely controlled robots, telemedicine, and video monitoring.
While ML developments to date have centered on CPUs/GPUs, ML applications that require real-time capabilities are driving demand for faster processing. FPGAs are devices capable of performing complex arithmetic processing in parallel for high-speed processing of large data volumes. Running ML programs on FPGAs allows processing six times faster or better (the ratio for current OIDS ML programs).
The agreement will enable both companies to offer services that accelerate ML processing by running ML programs on FPGAs. OIDS installs and optimizes client ML programs running on FPGAs using Mipsology’s Zebra platform to meet customer performance requirements with short lead times. OIDS offers FPGA intellectual property (IP) design and development services related to high-speed image transmission and communications processing, primarily in Japan, while Mipsology offers acceleration platforms for ML processing, primarily in Europe and in the US. The partnership will seek to expand ML development support services by meeting the demand for faster ML, a market sector expected to see significant future growth in Japan.
Xilinx, the world leader in FPGAs, and Avnet, a global provider of technology solutions centering on Xilinx, commented as follows in response to this announcement.
“We’re delighted to learn about the technical partnership between OIDS, a premium design service partner of Xilinx, and Mipsology, our ML acceleration partner for Alveo accelerator cards.*2 Working together we look forward to expanding access to and use of edge AI*3 devices utilizing our FPGAs and Alveo cards across a wide range of industries.”
Japan Country Lead
“We’re confident the development solutions proposed by OIDS, backed by its extensive experience with high-speed image processing and vision interface design,*4 together with Mipsology’s Zebra high-performance ML engine, will provide essential solutions in the development of ultra-low-latency processing systems for customers.”
Regional President, Avnet Japan
Corporate name: Mipsology SAS
CEO: Ludovic Larzul
Location: Palaiseau, France
Business activities: Mipsology is an innovative startup focusing on state-of-the-art DNN*5 inference acceleration. Its Zebra software platform represents market-leading technology enabling neural network inference acceleration on FPGAs and ML development without being aware of underlying hardware technology. The company is composed of engineers and scientists who have created world-leading FPGA-based supercomputers over the past 20 years.
Corporate name: OKI IDS Co., Ltd.
Founded: March 10, 2014
Capital: JPY50 million
President & CEO: Satoshi Shimizu
Location: Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture
Business activities: Development, sales, and consulting for video/audio/communications firmware and hardware, development, sales, and consulting for high-speed data transmission hardware; product development of industrial and medical equipment
*1: FPGA (field-programmable gate array)
FPGAs are programmable logic devices/integrated circuits that can be configured by the customer or designer after manufacture.
*2: Alveo accelerator card
Alveo accelerator cards incorporate Xilinx FPGAs for performance acceleration for DNN inference and other applications.
*3: Edge AI
Edge AI is AI designed to run locally, at actual sites. By eliminating the need for communication, compared to traditional cloud-based ML, this offers superior real-time performance, lower power consumption, and reduced size.
*4: Vision interface
The term vision interface refers to hardware that captures and transfers video signals via cable to a PC or other device.
*5: DNN (deep neural network)
DNNs are artificial neural networks designed to implement deep learning algorithms modeling human/animal cognition based on a multi-layer structure.
– Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. is commonly referred to simply as “OKI.”
– Mipsology and Zebra are registered trademarks in the US.
– Corporate names and product names contained in this document are the trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies.