IBM and NeuReality team up to build AI inference platform

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IBM and NeuReality, an Israeli AI systems and semiconductor company, have signed an agreement to develop the next generation of high-performance AI inference platforms.

These next generation platform will be designed to deliver disruptive cost and power consumption improvements for deep learning use cases.

IBM and NeuReality said that they will enable critical sectors such as finance, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, and smart cities to deploy computer vision, Natural Language Processing, recommendation systems, and other AI use cases. The collaboration is intended to accelerate deployments in AI use cases which are already deployed in public and private cloud datacentres

The agreement involves NR1, NeuReality’s first Server-on-a-Chip ASIC implementation of their AI-centric architecture. NR1 is based on the company's first generation FPGA-based NR1-P prototype platform that was introduced earlier this year.

The NR1 will be a new type of integrated circuit device with native AI-over-Fabric networking, full AI pipeline offload and hardware-based AI hypervisor capabilities. These capabilities remove the system bottlenecks that tend to effect current solutions and are intended to provide disruptive cost and power consumption benefits for inference systems and services.

The NR1-P platform will support software integration and system level validation prior to the availability of the NR1 production platform next year.

This partnership sees NeuReality as the first start-up semiconductor product member of the IBM Research AI Hardware Center and licensee of the Center’s low-precision high performance Digital AI Cores.

As part of the agreement, IBM becomes a design partner of NeuReality and will work on the product requirements for the NR1 chip, system, and SDK, that will be implemented in the next revision of the architecture. Together the two companies will evaluate NeuReality’s products for use in IBM’s Hybrid Cloud, including AI use cases, system flows, virtualization, networking, security and more.

Commenting Moshe Tanach, CEO and co-founder of NeuReality, said, "We believe our collaboration is a vote of confidence for our AI-centric technology and architecture and in its potential to power real life AI use cases with unprecedented deep learning capabilities.

"Having the NR1-P FPGA platform available today allows us to develop IBM’s requirements and test them before the NR1 Server-on-a-Chip’s tape-out. Being able to develop, test and optimise complex datacenter distributed features, such as Kubernetes, networking, and security before production is the only way to deliver high quality to our customers and allow many new sectors to deploy AI use cases more efficiently."

Dr. Mukesh Khare, Vice President of Hybrid Cloud research at IBM Research, added, “In light of IBM's vision to deliver the most advanced Hybrid Cloud and AI systems and services to our clients, teaming up with NeuReality, which brings a disruptive AI-centric approach to the table, is the type of industry collaboration we are looking for. The partnership with NeuReality is expected to drive a more streamlined and accessible AI infrastructure, which has the potential to enhance people’s lives.”