AImotive demonstrates NPU efficiency for automotive vision NN workloads

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AImotive and Nextchip have successfully demonstrated automotive NN (Neural Network) vision applications capable of executing at up to 98% efficiency on the aiWare3P NPU (Neural Network Processor Unit) used on Nextchip’s latest Apache5 IEP (Imaging Edge Processor).

Based in Budapest, AImotive is a specialist in automated driving technologies while Nextchip is an automotive vision technology company.

These solutions feature an advanced ISP that supports imaging sensors up to 5.7Mpixel resolution, a quad-core Arm A53 CPU and a small package size of only 9mm by 9mm.

Nextchip’s Apache5 has been designed for demanding automotive edge vision applications and meets AEC-Q100 Grade 2.

The rapid bring-up of all key functions on the Apache5 has been aided by AImotive's aiWare Studio’s offline NN optimisation tools, which enabled AImotive and Nextchip to demonstrate to customers the Apache5 IEP executing demanding automotive AI applications using the aiWare NPU within weeks of receiving first samples.

These demonstrations confirmed that Apache5’s aiWare3P 1.6 TOPS NPU can deliver up to 98% sustained real-time efficiency for a wide range of NN workloads. Only minimal optimisation effort was required, according to the team involved, which was completed prior to receipt of the first devices.

“We are excited that thanks to the close collaboration between Nextchip and AImotive, we have been able to demonstrate Apache5 executing compelling automotive AI applications with exceptional efficiency within weeks of receiving first samples” said Young Jun Yoo, CMO at Nextchip.

“With Apache5 we have demonstrated that we can deliver 2x to 3x higher CNN performance for the same claimed TOPS of other NPUs” said Márton Fehér, senior vice-president hardware engineering for AImotive. “Furthermore, our aiWare Studio SDK enabled our aiDrive team to bring up multiple well-optimized NNs within days of receiving Apache5 silicon”.

Nextchip has commenced shipping samples of Apache5 to lead customers, and is now accepting production enquiries.