Adaptive compute acceleration platform delivers scalable AI for wireless/radar applications

October 03, 2018 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Claiming to be the first adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP), Versal, introduced by Xilinx, combines Scalar Processing Engines, Adaptable Hardware Engines, and Intelligent Engines with leading-edge memory and interfacing technologies to deliver powerful heterogeneous acceleration for any application.

However, most importantly, Versal hardware and software can be programmed and optimized by software developers, data scientists, and hardware developers alike, enabled by a host of tools, software, libraries, IP, middleware, and frameworks that enable industry-standard design flows.

Built on TSMC’s 7-nanometer FinFET process technology, the Versal portfolio is the first platform to combine software programmability with domain-specific hardware acceleration and the adaptability necessary to keep pace with today’s rapid pace of innovation. The portfolio includes six series of devices uniquely architected to deliver scalability and AI inference capabilities for a host of applications across different markets, from cloud to networking to wireless communications to edge computing and endpoints. 

“With the explosion of AI and big data and the decline of Moore’s Law, the industry has reached a critical inflection point. Silicon design cycles can no longer keep up with the pace of innovation,” says Victor Peng, CEO, Xilinx. “Four years in development, Versal is the industry’s first ACAP. We uniquely designed it to enable all types of developers to accelerate their whole application with optimized hardware and software and to instantly adapt both to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology. It is exactly what the industry needs at the exact moment it needs it.”

The portfolio includes the Versal Prime series, Premium series and HBM series, which are designed to deliver industry-leading performance, connectivity, bandwidth, and integration for the most demanding applications. It also includes the AI Core series, AI Edge series, and AI RF series, which feature the breakthrough AI Engine. The AI Engine is a new hardware block designed to address the emerging need for low-latency AI inference for a wide variety of applications and also supports advanced DSP implementations for applications like wireless and radar. It is tightly coupled with the Versal Adaptable Hardware Engines to enable whole application acceleration, meaning that both the hardware and software can be tuned to ensure maximum performance and efficiency.


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