Synopsys introduces high performance neural processor IP

2 mins read

Synopsys has unveiled a new neural processing unit (NPU) IP and toolchain that delivers, what the company claims, is the industry's highest performance and support for the latest, most complex neural network models.

Synopsys DesignWare ARC NPX6 and NPX6FS NPU IP have been developed to address the demands of real-time compute with ultra-low power consumption for AI applications. To accelerate application software development, the DesignWare ARC MetaWare MX Development Toolkit provides a comprehensive compilation environment with automatic neural network algorithm partitioning to maximise resource utilisation.

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), surveillance, digital TVs and cameras and other emerging AI applications that implement complex neural network models are putting greater demands on compute and memory resources, often for safety-critical functions.

To address the range of application requirements, the ARC NPX6 NPU IP:

  • Scales from 4K to 96K MACs
  • Delivers, in a single instance, up to 250 tera operations per second (TOPS) at 1.3 GHz on 5nm processes in worst-case conditions, or up to 440 TOPS by using new sparsity features, which can increase the performance and decrease energy demands of executing a neural network
  • Integrates hardware and software connectivity features that enable implementation of multiple NPU instances to achieve up to 3,500 TOPS of performance on a single SoC
  • Provides more than 50x the performance of the maximum configuration of the ARC EV7x Processor IP
  • Offers optional 16-bit floating point support inside the neural processing hardware, maximizing layer performance and simplifying the transition from GPUs used for AI prototyping to high-volume power- and area-optimised SoCs

DesignWare ARC NPX6FS NPU IP meets stringent random hardware fault detection and systematic functional safety development flow requirements to achieve up to ISO 26262 ASIL D compliance. The processors, with comprehensive safety documentation included, feature dedicated safety mechanisms for ISO 26262 compliance and address the mixed-criticality and virtualization requirements of next-generation zonal architectures.

The ARC MetaWare MX Development Toolkit includes compilers and debugger, neural network software development kit (SDK), virtual platforms SDK, runtimes and libraries, and advanced simulation models.

MetaWare MX offers a single toolchain to accelerate application development and automatically partitions algorithms across the MAC resources for highly efficient processing. For safety-critical automotive applications, the toolkit includes a safety manual and a safety guide to help developers meet the ISO 26262 requirements and prepare for ISO 26262 compliance testing.

"Higher resolution images, more cameras in systems, and more complex algorithms are driving AI processing requirements to high TOPS performance," said John Koeter, Sr. VP, marketing and strategy in the Synopsys Solutions Group. "With the new DesignWare ARC NPX6 and NPX6FS NPU IP, as well as MetaWare MX Development Toolkits, designers can take advantage of the latest neural network models, meet growing performance demands and accelerate time-to-market for their next intelligent SoCs."