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Kneron Edge AI SoC Powered by Andes RISC-V Processor Core D25F

Kneron Inc., the San Diego-based Edge AI solution provider, together with Andes Technology Corporation, a leading supplier of high-performance, low-power 32/64-bit RISC-V processor cores, announced formal mass production of Kneron’s next-generation Edge AI SoC KL530, powered by Andes’ D25F processor in consideration of its efficient pipeline architecture, powerful Packed-SIMD DSP extension instructions, and IEEE754-compliant high-performance single/double precision floating RVFD extensions.

KL530 is the latest generation of heterogeneous AI chip from Kneron, with a brand new NPU architecture. It is the first of its kind in the industry to support INT4 precision and Transformer. Compared with other Edge AI chips, it has higher computing efficiency and lower power consumption. The use of heterogeneous AI chips embedded with RISC-V processors, powerful image processing capabilities and interfaces will further enable the application of Edge AI chips in ADAS, AIoT and other market.

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The computing power of KL530 can reach 1 TOPS@INT 4, and the processing efficiency is up to 70% higher than that of INT 8 under the same hardware conditions. Its reconfigurable NPU design takes advantage of the high performance of the D25F RISC-V core, and supports multiple AI models such as CNN, Transformer, RNN Hybrid, etc. Its Smart ISP can optimize image quality based on AI, and powerful codec can achieve high-efficiency multimedia compression. In addition, its cold start time is less than 500ms, and average power consumption is less than 500mW.

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The D25F CPU, one of the most popular cores from AndesCore 25-series, is equipped with RISC-V P-extension ISA draft to efficiently manipulate multiple data sets simultaneously in one instruction. Andes initiated the P-extension, chairs its Task Group in RISC-V International and leads the specification definition. D25F is accompanied with complete development tools including compiler with auto-generation of SIMD instructions based on vector data type, optimized DSP libraries, neural network libraries, and near cycle-accuracy simulator. It delivers near 9 times speedup for popular machine learning algorithms, including Tensorflow keyword spotting, CIFAR10 image classification, and P-net object detection.

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“Kneron has a unique reconfigurable architecture, which can fit easily into different convolutional neural networks (CNN) without compromise, thus serves a wide variety of AI models seamlessly and accurately.” said Albert Liu, Kneron founder and CEO. “The D25F CPU core with its powerful DSP instruction set and development framework enables Kneron to explore the performance of its industry-leading AI algorithms to the fullest while keeping power consumption optimal. It is crucial to our customers, especially for those who develop products such as smart devices and Edge AI appliances. We are happy to cooperate with Andes, the leading computing expert specialized in RISC-V architecture. With Andes RISC-V core and its DSP support, Kneron is able to develop this cutting edge solution smoothly within a very short time frame. We are really proud to see KL530 in mass production now serving our customers.”

“We are glad that Kneron chose the D25F to power KL530, especially after it went through a series of comprehensive evaluations,” said Andes CEO and RISC-V International Board Director Frankwell Lin. “The D25F stands out distinctly in every aspect on key indexes such as product features, performance, core area, and power consumption. As a leading enterprise in providing Edge AI SoC solution embedded with RISC-V core, Kneron showed its efficiency to quickly launch KL530 and enter mass production. It is astonishing to learn the strong competitiveness of Kneron’s team. Thanks to the extraordinary cooperation between Kneron and Andes, we jointly achieved a complete and highly competitive solution to facilitate AI applications for a wide variety of products.”

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