Xilinx unveils Versal AI Edge series

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Xilinx has announced the introduction of the Versal AI Edge series, designed to enable AI innovation from the edge to the endpoint.

With 4X the AI performance-per-watt versus GPUs and 10X greater compute density versus previous-generation adaptive SoCs, the Versal AI Edge series is, according to Xilinx, a significant step forward in terms of both scalability and adaptability when it comes to next-generation distributed intelligent systems.

The Versal AI Edge adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP) has been designed to deliver intelligence to a wide range of applications including: automated driving, collaborative robotics, predictive factory and healthcare systems, and multi-mission payloads for the aerospace and defence markets.

The portfolio features AI Engine-ML to deliver 4X machine learning compute compared to the previous AI Engine architecture and integrates new accelerator RAM with an enhanced memory hierarchy for evolving AI algorithms. These architectural innovations deliver up to 4X AI performance-per-watt versus GPUs and lower latency resulting in far more capable devices at the edge.

AI-enabled automated systems require high compute density that can accelerate whole applications from sensor to AI to real-time control and the Versal AI Edge devices achieve this by delivering 10X the compute density when compared to Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoCs, enabling more intelligent autonomous systems. In addition, Versal AI Edge devices are able to support multiple safety standards across industrial (IEC 61508), avionics (DO-254/178), and automotive (ISO 26262) markets, where vendors are required to meet ASIL C random hardware integrity and ASIL D systematic integrity levels.

"Edge computing applications require an architecture that can evolve to address new requirements and scenarios with a blend of flexible compute processing within tight thermal and latency constraints,” said Sumit Shah, senior director, Product Management and Marketing at Xilinx. “The Versal AI Edge series delivers these key attributes for a wide range of applications requiring greater intelligence, making it a critical addition to the Versal portfolio with devices that scale from intelligent edge sensors to CPU accelerators.”

The Versal AI Edge series takes the 7nm Versal architecture and miniaturizes it for AI compute at low latency, with power efficiency as low as six watts and safety and security measures required in edge applications. As a heterogeneous platform with diverse processors, the Versal AI Edge series matches the engine to the algorithm, with Scalar Engines for embedded compute, Adaptable Engines for sensor fusion and hardware adaptability, and Intelligent Engines for AI inference that scales up to 479 (INT4) TOPS2 and for advanced signal processing workloads for vision, radar, LiDAR, and software defined radio.

Connectivity blocks range from LPDDR-4266, 32Gb/s transceivers to meet all the necessary protocols in edge applications, 40G multi-rate Ethernet, PCIe Gen4 with CCIX, and native MIPI support for vision sensors up to eight-megapixel resolution and beyond - critical to Level-2 ADAS and above. With more powerful AI Engines and an enhanced memory hierarchy that includes accelerator RAM, the Versal AI Edge series can be used with a wider range of applications across numerous markets.

Accessible to both hardware and software developers, Versal AI Edge ACAPs will provide a design-entry point for aa developers, including Vivado design tools for hardware developers, the Vitis unified software platform for software developers, Vitis AI for data scientists, and domain-specific operating systems, frameworks, and acceleration libraries for the platform’s target applications.