Investments & Funding

Microchip acquires Neuronix AI labs for AI edge solutions

CHANDLER, Ariz., April 15, 2024 — Microchip Technology, a provider of microcontroller and embedded control solutions, has acquired Neuronix AI Labs, a company that developed technology to make artificial intelligence tasks run on devices with lower power consumption and smaller size, to expand its capabilities for power-efficient, AI-enabled edge solutions deployed on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Neuronix AI Labs provides neural network sparsity optimization technology that enables a reduction in power, size and calculations for tasks such as image classification, object detection and semantic segmentation, while maintaining high accuracy.

Microchip’s mid-range PolarFire® FPGAs and SoCs already lead the industry in terms of low power consumption, reliability and security capabilities. The acquisition of this technology will enable Microchip to develop cost-effective, large-scale edge deployments of components designed for use in computer-vision applications. These systems have cost, size, and power constraints. Additionally, it will enable a multifold increase in AI/ML processing horsepower on low and mid-range FPGAs.

“The acquisition of Neuronix AI Labs’ technology will enhance our power efficiency for FPGAs. These are deployed in intelligent edge systems that utilize AI/ML algorithms,” said Bruce Weyer, corporate vice president of Microchip’s FPGA business unit. “Neuronix technology, combined with our VectorBlox™ design flow, produces an increase in neural network performance efficiency. Moreover, it delivers outstanding GOPS/watt performance in our low-power PolarFire FPGAs and SoCs. Systems designers will now be able to architect and deploy small-footprint hardware that was previously difficult to build due to size, thermal or power constraints.”

The acquisition of this technology will allow non-FPGA designers to harness powerful parallel processing capabilities. They can use industry-standard AI frameworks without requiring in-depth knowledge of FPGA design flow. Furthermore, the integration of Neuronix AI’s IP with Microchip’s compilers and design kits enables AI/ML algorithms deployment on FPGA logic. Achieving this doesn’t require RTL expertise or intimate knowledge of the underlying FPGA fabric. It also allows updating and upgrading CNNs on the fly without the need to reprogram hardware

“Neuronix AI Labs has laser-focused on producing best-in-class neural network acceleration architectures. Moreover, their aim is to develop algorithms that can transform user expectations of size, power, performance, and cost,” said Yaron Raz, CEO of Neuronix AI Labs. “Joining the Microchip team offers us a unique opportunity to scale and align with an FPGA portfolio that has set industry standards for power efficiency.”  

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