Making the case for neuromorphic chips for AI computing

first_img Continue Reading Previous IoT device security: A path to standardizationNext Industrial IoT security builds on hardware When Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the iPhone X, he claimed it would “set the path for technology for the next decade.” While it is too early to tell, the neural engine used for face recognition was the first of its kind. Today deep neural networks are a reality, and neuromorphic appears to be the only practical path to make continuing progress in AI.Facing data bandwidth constraints and ever-rising computational requirements, sensing and computing must reinvent themselves by mimicking neurobiological architectures, claimed a recently published report by Yole Développement (Lyon, France).In an interview with EE Times, Pierre Cambou, Principal Analyst for Imaging at Yole, explained that neuromorphic sensing and computing could solve most of AI’s current issues while opening new application perspectives in the next decades. “Neuromorphic engineering is the next step towards biomimicry and drives the progress towards AI.”Why now?Seventy years have passed since mathematician Alan Turing posed the question “Can machines think?”, and thirty years since Carver Mead, an electrical engineer at the California Institute of Technology, introduced the concept of neuromorphic engineering. In the next decade, however, researchers experienced little practical success in building machines with brainlike ability to learn and adapt. Hope resurged when Georgia Tech presented its field programmable neural array in 2006 and MIT researchers unveiled a computer chip that mimics how the brain’s neurons adapt in response to new information in 2011.The turning point was the publication of the paper, “ImageNet Classification with Deep Convolutional Neural Networks” by a group of scientists from the University of Toronto. The AlexNet architecture, comprising of an 8-layer convolutional neural network, made it possible to classify the 1.2 million high-resolution images in the ImageNet contest into one of the 1,000 categories (e.g. cats, dogs). “It is only with the development of AlexNet that the deep learning approach proved to be more powerful and started to gain momentum in the AI space.” Pierre CambouPierre CambouMost current deep learning implementation techniques rely on Moore’s Law, and “it works fine.” But, as deep learning evolves, there will be more and more demand for chips that can perform high computational tasks. Moore’s Law has been slowing down lately, and has led many in the industry, including Yole Développement, to believe it won’t be able to sustain deep learning progress. Cambou is among those that believe deep learning “will fail” if it continues to be implemented the way it is today.To explain his point of view, Cambou cited three main hurdles. The first is the economics of the Moore’s Law. “Very few players will be able to play, and we will end up with one or two fabs in the world going beyond 7nm. We think it is detrimental to innovation when only Google is able to do something.”Second, the data load is increasing faster than Moore’s Law, and the data overflow makes current memory technologies a limiting factor. And third, the exponential increase in computing power requirements has created a heat wall for each application. “With 7nm chips, we roughly have an efficiency of one teraflop per watt. To power a Waymo, we probably need one kilowatt, which means we need one thousand teraflops,” said Cambou. The current technology paradigm is unable to deliver on the promise, and the solution could be to apply deep learning on neuromorphic hardware and take advantage of the much better energy efficiency.Taking a broader look at the current situation, Cambou said it is time for a disruptive approach that utilizes the benefits derived from emerging memory technologies and improves data bandwidth and power efficiency. That is the neuromorphic approach. “The AI story will keep on moving forward, and we believe the next step is in the neuromorphic direction.”In recent years, there have been many efforts in building neuromorphic hardware that conveys cognitive abilities by implementing neurons in silicon. For Cambou, this is the way to go as “the neuromorphic approach is ticking all the right boxes” and allows far greater efficiencies. “Hardware has enabled neural networks and deep learning, and we believe it will enable the next step in neuromorphic AI. Then we can dream again about AI and dream about AI-based applications.”Credit: YoleCredit: YoleNeurons and synapsesNeuromorphic hardware is moving out of the research lab with a convergence of interests and goals from the sensing, computing and memory fields. Joint ventures are being formed, strategic alliances are being signed, and decade-long research initiatives such as the European Union’s Human Brain Project are being launched.While no significant business is expected before 2024, the scale of the opportunity could be significant for decades after that. According to Yole, if all technical questions are solved in the next few years, the neuromorphic computing market could rise from $69 million in 2024 to $5 billion in 2029 and $21.3 billion in 2034. The ecosystem is large and diverse with prominent players like Samsung, Intel, and SK Hynix, as well as startups such as Brainchip, Nepes, Vicarious and General Vision.Neuromorphic chips are no longer a theory, but a fact. In 2017, Intel introduced Loihi, its first neuromorphic research chip composed of 130,000 neurons. In July, the Santa Clara group hit a new milestone with its 8 million neuron neuromorphic system, codenamed Pohoiki Beach, comprising 64 Loihi research chips. Similarly IBM’s TrueNorth brain-inspired computer chip has 1 million neurons and 256 million synapses and Brainchip’s Akida neuromorphic system-on-chip has 1.2 million neurons and 10 billion synapses.“There is a race for providing hardware that would raise the bar in terms of neurons and synapses. Synapses are probably more important than neurons,” said Cambou. “At Yole, we see two steps ahead of us. First, the applications that will be built upon the current approach, in part asynchronous and in part from Von Neumann.” Good examples are Brainchip’s Akida and Intel’s Loihi. “Then, probably within the next 10 to 15 years, we will get RRAM [resistive random-access memory] on top of it. That will allow for more synapses to be created.”Neuromorphic computing efforts come from memory players like Micron, Western Digital and SK Hynix, but many are seeking more short-term revenues and ultimately may not become strong players in the neuromorphic research. “We should look at small players that have chosen neuromorphic as their core technology,” Cambou said.Disruptive memory startups such as Weebit, Robosensing, Knowm, Memry, and Symetrix are combining non-volatile memory technology with neuromorphic computing chip designs. They have emerged alongside pure-play memory startups such as Crossbar and Adesto, but their memristor (memory resistor) approach is often perceived as more long-term than efforts from pureplay computing companies. “A lot of memory players are working on RRAM and phase-change memories to mimic the synapse,” said Cambou. Also, “the MRAM [magnetoresistive random access memory] is part of the emerging memories that will help the neuromorphic approach to succeed.”Credit: YoleCredit: YoleBesides computing, a neuromorphic sensing ecosystem has emerged, with its roots originating from the invention of a Silicon Neuron by Misha Mahowald at the Institute of Neuroinformatics and ETH Zurich in 1991. Current competition is low, with less than ten players globally. Among them, Prophesee, Samsung, Insightness, Inivation and Celepixel are providing ready-to-use products such as event-based image sensors and cameras. The frame-based approach, as used in cinematography, is unable to capture motion.“Cinema is tricking our brain, but we can’t trick a computer,” said Cambou. “The only right way to do it is to give the same information the eyes are giving. Event-based cameras are very strong for any kind of motion understanding and pattern understanding in real time.” More broadly, auditory, imaging and behavioral sensors have “an impact at every level of what we call general intelligence.”At the packaged semiconductor level, Yole said it expects neuromorphic sensing to grow from $43 million in 2024 to $2 billion in 2029 and $4.7 billion in 2034.Automotive, but not onlyAutomotive is probably the most obvious market, said Cambou. Initial markets are, however, industrial and mobile, mainly for robotics and real-time perception.In the short term, neuromorphic sensing and computing will be used for always-on monitoring of industrial machines. It will also play a major role in logistics, food automation and agriculture. “While deep learning needs huge data sets, neuromorphic learns extremely quickly from only a few images or a few words and understands time,” said Cambou.Within the next decade, the availability of hybrid in-memory computing chips should unlock the automotive market, desperately awaiting a mass market autonomous driving technology. “We live in a world of interactions, and neuromorphic will be very strong in giving computers the understanding of unstructured environments.”>> This article was originally published on our sister site, EE Times: “Neuromorphic Promises Better AI.”Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Advanced Technology, Chips & Components last_img read more

Exhibition brings out lyricism in sculptor Dhanrajs work

first_imgA retrospective exhibition highlighting the musicality in Indian sculptor Dhanraj Bhagat’s work, is being showcased at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here.The exhibition titled “Dhanraj Bhagat (1917-1988): Journey from the Physical to the Spiritual” has over 400 works on display, including sketches and sculptures. “Bhagat evoked brilliantly the inner music in his take on the iconic Nataraja or Dancing Shiva, in the elongated lyrical limbs of the lord as though swaying in the tune of the music,” NGMA said in a statement. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfMusic also translates in his flowing sketches of women and musicians with almost ethereal quality, it added.Born in Lahore in 1917, Bhagat, in his earlier depictions showed rural men and women involved in daily activities, inspired by what he saw around him.He later joined the Mayo School of Art, and served as the head of the sculpture department at the College of Art, New Delhi for three decades.The 1977, Padma Shri awardee, worked with mediums like clay, wood, metal or cement, and seemed to have introduced to his work a certain lyrical form. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBhagat’s style of sculpting romanticism in an objective subject took a spiritual turn in his later years. As his works began to be dominated by a minimalist geometry through which he formed strong images of monarchs, gods and celestial beings, he rendered a spiritual touch to his work.The exhibition seeks to capture the moods and styles of the artist from his initial years to the later simplified geometric forms and icons.The extensive retrospective exhibition marks the sculptor’s centenary year, and is now on display in Mumbai till August 14.last_img read more

Fourth Bankers Meet to be held in Delhi

first_imgBankers’ Meet, a think tank of leading professionals from Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance companies, is holding its fourth national conclave in New Delhi, on February 28, 2019.An initiative by TKWs Institute of Banking and Finance Society, Bankers’ meet is known for crystal gazing the future of financial services in India. The BFSI Vision 2022, released in 2015 was well accepted by government and central bank. The vision helped in clarifying the policy direction and inspired many digitisation initiatives in financial services ecosystem. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe objective of this event is to create a BFSI Vision Roadmap for engaging a billion BFSI customers digitally. The BFSI ecosystem encompasses 4Ps – Policy, People, Products and Processes. 16 eminent leaders will speak on the opportunities and challenges that the ecosystem poses. Eight industry committees from different BFSI segments are being formed. Each committee will focus on different aspects and propose solutions to make the BFSI vision come true. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveCommenting on the need of Bankers’ Meet, RK Dubey, Convener and former CMD of Canara Bank, said that “BFSI has to catalyse India’s growth to a $5 Trillion economy. The 4th Bankers’ meet is an attempt to steer the efforts of financial services in this direction.” Lt Governor of Puducherry, Dr Kiran Bedi has agreed to inaugurate the initiative and inspire BFSI leaders to take this step. A few other invitees at the meet include Dr Charan Singh, Chairman, Punjab and Sind Bank; Padma Shri Dr Pritam Singh, Advisor to Prime Minister; Chetna Gala Sinha, Co Chair, World Economic Forum; VG Kannan, CEO, Indian Banks Association; Arijit Basu, MD, State Bank of India, and other CEOs from insurance, broking, and more. Explaining the process, Professor Amit Goyal, Director, TKWs Institute of Banking and Finance explained, “The deliberations will be compiled together into a roadmap document which will be circulated to the PMO, MoF, RBI, sector regulars and CMDs of 500 BFSI companies. This will set a precedence for the industry and propel nation to achieve the dream of becoming third largest economy.”last_img read more

Why MobileFriendly Websites Are Critical to Your Strategy

first_img 11 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals This story appears in the March 2011 issue of . Subscribe » To land the big fishes, you need to be able to find them. But like the fishes themselves, data about where and when the big ones are biting don’t stay fresh for long.The 100,000 or so user forum members of Bigfishtackle.com like to share just that kind of information, but by the time they get back home or to their Wi-Fi enabled cabins to log on to tell their friends the best places to drop a line (or maybe just to gloat), it could be old news. It would be a lot better if they could log onto their mobile phones the instant they set the hook, right from the boat.”Fishing reports can get a little dated,” says Mike Hodgdon, COO of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based First Light Net, which runs Bigfishtackle.com and other websites for outdoor enthusiasts. “There is a big advantage for the angler to do this while they’re actually on a fishing spot. That’s why we started to see some demand to post to the forum from mobile phones.”The website became an early adopter of new technology enabling a mobile-optimized web browsing experience. In 2007, it started reformatting its site for smaller mobile device screens. But the business soon found dotMobi, a Dublin, Ireland, firm that’s among a handful of companies that sells .mobi domain names, as well as tools for creating a mobile-optimized web experience. Now, Bigfishtackle.mobi gives forum members viewing, browsing and posting functions that are just like the desktop web experience, but rendered just right for a 3- or 4-inch mobile phone screen.The site and others like it represent a growing trend among entrepreneurial businesses to achieve a more mobile-friendly web presence.The .mobi designation isn’t for a separate website–it’s just a mobile-optimized extension. Bigfishtackle.com didn’t have to change its URL. “You can post to the .mobi site, and it integrates with the regular website in real time,” Hodgdon says.Pinky Brand, director of global sales at dotMobi, estimates that businesses could realize a bump in traffic of 10 percent to 15 percent by mobile-optimizing their websites. That could be the amount of traffic they are losing if customers try to visit their regular websites from mobile phones and find them unfit for viewing on their device screens.”Mobile is what a lot of consumers use to look for businesses right now,” Brand says. “In truth, every business already has a mobile website because your website can be seen on mobile phones. It’s just that the businesses may not know how bad it looks on a mobile phone.”Bigfishtackle.mobi was among the first sites launched with dotMobi’s help. Though the site does see some unique visitors, Hodgdon says the crossover from the regular website has been especially notable, with about 40 percent of website visitors crossing over to the mobile-optimized version. That’s a lot of impact for a project that cost its website proprietor little more than $8,000.Mike Hodgdon, COO of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based First Light Net”If you think about it, this makes sense for a lot of different types of businesses because the mobile phone market is so big,” Hodgdon says. “The opportunity is bigger than just building for computers.”The nascent mobile website movement could be the next step for mobile-savvy businesses that have joined the mobile app explosion, or even for those who have missed out on apps. However, in the long run mobile websites could prove to have broader implications and greater business benefits.It can be expensive and labor intensive to develop a mobile app to represent your business. Developers of the earliest mobile data apps often had to write different versions for every mobile device on which they wanted the apps to play, says Mitch Lazar, CEO of Taptu, a social media and technology company with headquarters in Denver and Cambridge, England.Lazar himself was an early entrant into mobile Internet endeavors, having created the CNN Mobile service after starting CNN.com in the 1990s.”There were huge cost and distribution challenges because you had to customize the service for every phone that was out there,” Lazar says. “We had to create about 500 different SKUs for CNN Mobile for different distributors.”A pair of philosophically opposite technology evolutions in recent years made the development process easier. First, Apple created its own tightly controlled app ecosystem with the highly desirable iPhone at the center of it. Next, the emergence of the Android operating system created an open environment for developers to create an app once, and with a few tweaks, get it on a much broader list of devices.The success of the iPhone and the rise of the Android army created a fast-growing market for mobile apps, but with that success came new challenges for any business seeking to make its mark with its own mobile app. For starters, it has to deal with an app store, such as Apple’s iPhone store, that will want a piece of the revenue. Also, the app undergoes lengthy, rigorous testing and certification procedures before it gets a spot on the virtual store shelf.But the biggest challenge may be getting the app noticed once it does become available. At the Apple store, for example, an app now has to fight for attention against more than 300,000 others–and that’s just one app store. And if consumers do find it, will they use it? As mobile phone users download an increasing number of apps, concerns are growing about the potential for app overload.”It’s filter failure, the problem of not being able to filter out what’s core to you,” Taptu’s Lazar says. “It’s a problem that has spanned years as we’ve had an Internet fire hose pointing at us.”Taptu’s MyTaptu social news aggregation app allows users to build a personalized visual experience on the mobile phone that lets them avoid “app-hopping,” Lazar says. That could make it easier for individual business apps to be found in the rapidly growing mobile app universe.Though tools like Taptu help, many small-business owners believe that the mobile app environment still can be an abyss, and that they could better use their time and money enhancing their core websites, rather than trying to get a homespun app onto their customers’ phones.Nitin Bhandari, co-founder and chief product officer of Skyfire, a company in Mountain View, Calif., whose mobile browser technology converts web pages for viewing on mobile devices, says having a greater mobile web focus makes more sense for businesses now because mobile network bandwidth advancements and browser innovations have caught up with device capabilities.”You’ve got better devices, better networks and better browsers,” he says. Yet how and when to pursue the mobile web remains a challenge.Where to Go for More Resources to help you mobilize your web presencedotMobi: Resources and information on buying a .mobi domain.mobiThinking: A spinoff of dotMobi that offers education about mobile web marketing.The Webkit Open Source Project: Information on the browser technology supporting HTML 5’s mobile functionality.mobiForge: A community of independent mobile web developers.The Web Hypertext Application Technical Working Group: Industry body started by folks from Apple, Opera Software and Mozilla Foundation to speed HTML 5 development.HTML5.org: More details on HTML 5 and comparisons to previous versions.Taptu blog: Resources and information on mobile app trends and app streams.”There’s a great deal of confusion about the mobile web,” says Joshua Bixby, president of website optimization firm Strangeloop, in Vancouver, B.C. “Businesses haven’t known what to do about it, and the largest companies have been focused on coming out with their own apps for individual phones.”What’s getting the mobile web more attention is executives checking out their competitors’ websites from their iPhones and finding out [those sites] work better on mobile than their own,” Bixby says. “Then they force their IT departments to change direction and prioritize the mobile web.”DotMobi’s Brand says businesses should keep in mind three factors when developing a mobile website: the site needs to be able to detect when mobile users are accessing it; it needs a way to adapt content to a mobile format; and it needs a way to present that mobile-ready content.One of the main technology tools is HTML 5, the first version of the well-known Internet development language to accommodate mobile. It allows the creation of mobile-optimized websites, as well as “web apps”–essentially website-based apps and widgets that can be accessed through a web browser such as Google Chrome or Apple Safari that uses the Webkit open source web page rendering system that is part of the HTML 5 standard.”Web apps are basically HTML wrapped in an app,” says Mark Britten, senior product manager of NewBay Software, which has offices in Seattle and Dublin. “It is something that is much more lightweight and much quicker to use than XML.”But the best part for small businesses that lack an IT department is that no knowledge of HTML 5 is required. Solutions such as dotMobi’s goMobi service platform can do the grunt work for you. With goMobi, business owners use simple drag-and-drop methods to turn their desktop site into a mobile one. And, Brand says, the conversion process takes just minutes. With dotMobi’s free mobiReady.com service, owners can test their existing site to see how it will look from the perspective of different devices.Many Advocates of HTML5 argue that mobile-optimized websites and emerging web apps based on the platform can help businesses avoid the mobile app store glut by sending users right to their websites–which, in turn, can help dig users out of the piles of mobile apps that may be suffocating their overall mobile Internet usage.”Mobile apps actually have a high churn rate. All of these apps you have downloaded are digital weight you carry around,” says Skyfire’s Bhandari. “But web browsing only continues to increase.”Bixby says a revolution in mobile-optimized websites could eventually de-emphasize app stores for both app creators and users–though he acknowledges that’s hard to imagine right now, during the height of the mobile app market.”Apps as we know them now are a phase in the maturity of the mobile Internet,” he says. “The browser is what will define that experience in the future.”Taptu’s Lazar thinks otherwise: that apps will continue to be important, and that technology like HTML 5 will just make it easier for entrepreneurial businesses to negotiate all aspects of the mobile web, whether in site development or app development.”HTML 5 lets Taptu create a smart browser solution without having to rewrite a lot of code, but you will still have apps. Like your website, they will just be written in HTML 5,” he says.The increasing ease with which entrepreneurial businesses can leverage the mobile web could make it a simple decision for companies to get onboard. In addition, it’s a relatively inexpensive move, and it might even make sense for some new businesses to make their Internet debut as a mobile website.Still, dotMobi’s Brand says the decision to mobile-optimize a site or to go further and support m-commerce is something that has to come down to a business’s understanding of its audience.Bigfishtackle.com was so certain of its users’ interest in mobile that it snapped up about 30 .mobi URLs from dotMobi, Hodgdon says. He sees the potential for m-commerce activity, such as the ability to buy a fishing license from your phone and to display it on your phone screen.”The .mobi site is an extension of what we have been doing from the very beginning,” Hodgdon says.Brand says the progress of mobile websites “reminds me of the desktop Internet growth of 15 years ago. It’s driven by advances in device horsepower and connectivity. But desktop was a slower evolution, and the mobile Internet adoption rate is blindingly fast. The way this will take root is that entrepreneurs will talk to one another and say, ‘I did this and it worked for me, so maybe it will work for you.'” Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. February 22, 2011 Register Now »last_img read more

Facebook Rolls Out Graph Search

first_img Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Now July 8, 2013 Problem Solvers with Jason Feifercenter_img 2 min read Facebook is adding a dose of Google to its repertoire.The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media giant says its personalized search function “Graph Search” will become available to all Facebook users in the U.S. who have the English version in the next few weeks, according to a statement released today. Your search box will be automatically updated, Facebook says.A beta version of Graph Search was released in January. The internal search function mines photos and comments to find recommendations on what to eat, where to shop or what to buy based on what your friends like.Facebook users individually determine the content that can be searched with their privacy settings. If you set a photo as viewable only to you, then it will not come up in a search. If you set a photo as viewable to your friends, then it will come up in searches that your friends conduct. Meanwhile, if you allow a photo to be viewable by everybody, then it will come up in all searches.Reviews on the Facebook Graph Search have so far been mixed. Some social media experts say it holds promise for business owners because it will allow them to advertise next to search results. Others say the initial versions have a clunky user experience.Facebook says over the past few months it has taken the feedback it received from tens of millions of people and made the search tool faster, improved the ability of the function to understand queries and made the interface easier to see and use. “This is just the beginning,” says Facebook in its announcement.Related: Facebook’s Graph Search Holds Promise for Social Marketinglast_img read more