IBM and NeuReality, an Israeli AI systems and semiconductor company, recently announced that they would develop high-performance AI inference platforms designed to deliver cost and power consumption improvements for deep learning.
The platforms will be built for such sectors as finance, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, and smart cities to deploy computer vision, natural language processing, recommendation systems and other AI use cases.
The agreement involves NR1, NeuReality’s first Server-on-a-Chip ASIC implementation of their AI-centric architecture. NR1 is based on NeuReality’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 that, taken together, remove system bottlenecks and improve cost and power consumption, according to the companies.
“We believe our collaboration (with IBM) 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 tape out. Being able to develop, test and optimize complex datacenter distributed features, such as Kubernetes, networking and security before production is the only way to deliver high quality to our customers,” said Moshe Tanach, CEO and Co-Founder of NeuReality.
Dr Mukesh Khare, Vice President of Hybrid Cloud research at IBM Research, said, “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.”
The NR1-P platform will support software integration and system-level validation prior to the availability of the NR1 production platform next year. The partnership also marks NeuReality as the first start-up semiconductor product member of the IBM Research AI Hardware Center and licensee of the centre’s low-precision, high-performance Digital AI Cores. As part of the agreement, IBM became a design partner of NeuReality and will work on the product requirements for the NR1 chip, system, and SDK, which 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 and security.