[libre-riscv-dev] AI Accelerator

Jacob Lifshay programmerjake at gmail.com
Wed Feb 5 02:57:21 GMT 2020

On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 3:08 PM Immanuel, Yehowshua U
<yimmanuel3 at gatech.edu> wrote:
> Testing testing… Is this thing on?
> Hello LibreSOC community,
> I have been in discussion with Luke and potential LibreSOC investors.
> I’ve hinted at the idea of adding an AI accelerator to a future phase of LibreSOC.
> Basically, there is an informal desire in the ECE department at my university,  Georgia Tech to build an SOC. The vision actually aligns quite nicely with that of LibreSOC, so I had been talking to various key players about how LIbreSOC and Georgia Tech ECE might work together.
> The particular lab where I work is working on delivering an AI accelerator takeout and it would make a lot of sense to add this into a future version of LibreSOC… say LibreSOC v2…
> Here are some thoughts:
> Future SOCs are guaranteed to have AI accelerators - so this is a chance for LibreSOC to pioneer. LibreSOC can establish an ethical reference implementation of an ethical AI accelerator SOC.
> AI is currently really good at medium complexity image classification and absolutely excellent at language processing.
> Our lab currently has some function RTL for an AI accelerator that handles CNN(vision tasks) and NLP at integer precision with up to 300x speedup by comparison to NVIDIAs Volta architecture…
> So, what are your thoughts?

Sounds good to me!

related: we already planned for support for fp16 and 8 and 16-bit
integer support in the vector instruction set:
(from the main 128-bit wide ALUs, assuming we have integer mul-add instructions)
* fp16 and int16 would get 8 mul-add/core/clock, so 51.2 GFLOPS or
GIOPS at 4 cores and 800MHz
* int8 would get 16 mul-add/core/clock, so 102.4 GIOPS

We're likely to also support saturating operations since those are
also useful for graphics and video.

> I’d basically want to mention on our front-page that future iterations of LibreSOC will have an AI accelerator…
> And you may not have noticed but AI is kinda like a buzzword right now.
> “Insert startup name here” + “mumble jumble something AI” = funding

:) just waiting for someone else to make something completely useless
and get lots of funding: AI-powered rocks or something XD


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