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AI

NeuReality and IBM team up to develop AI inference platforms

[Updated 5:44am PST]

NeuReality, an Israeli-based semiconductor company developing high-performance AI inference technology, has signed an agreement with IBM to develop the technology.

The technology aims to deliver cost and power consumption improvements for deep learning use cases of inference, the companies said. This development follows NeuReality’s emergence from stealth earlier in February with an $8 million seed round to accelerate AI workloads at scale.

AI inference is a growing area of focus for enterprises, because it’s the part of AI where neural networks actually are applied in real application and yield results. IBM and NeuReality claim their partnership will allow the deployment of computer vision, recommendation systems, natural language processing, and other AI use cases in critical sectors like finance, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, and smart cities. They also claim the agreement will accelerate deployments in today’s ever-growing AI use cases, which are already deployed in public and private cloud datacenters.

NeuReality has competition in Cast AI, a technology company offering a platform that “allows developers to deploy, manage, and cost-optimize applications in multiple clouds simultaneously.” Some other competitors include Comet.ml, Upright Project, OctoML, Deci, and DeepCube. However, this partnership with IBM will see NeuReality become the first start-up semiconductor product member of the IBM Research AI Hardware Center and a licensee of the Center’s low-precision high performance Digital AI Cores.

VentureBeat connected via email with Moshe Tanach, CEO and co-founder of NeuReality, to get a broader view on the direction of this partnership.

Delivering a new reality to datacenters and near edge compute solutions

NeuReality’s agreement with IBM includes cooperation around NR1, NeuReality’s first Server-on-a-Chip ASIC implementation of its AI-centric architecture. The NR1 is a high performance, fully linear, scalable, network-attached device that provides services of AI workload processing, NeuReality says. In simpler terms, the NR1 offering targets cloud and enterprise datacenters, alongside carriers, telecom operators, and other near edge compute solutions—enabling them to deploy AI use cases more efficiently. The NR1 is based on NeuReality’s first generation FPGA-based NR1-P prototype platform introduced earlier this year.

In line with NeuReality’s vision to make AI accessible to all, this technology will remove the system bottlenecks of today’s solutions and provide disruptive cost and power consumption benefits for inference systems and services, the company said. The collaboration with IBM will ensure Neurality’s already available FPGA-based NR1-P platform supports software integration and system level validation prior to the availability of the NR1 production platform next year, the companies said.

“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’s tapeout. 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. I am extremely proud of our engineering team who will deliver a new reality to datacenters and near edge solutions. This new reality will allow many new sectors to deploy AI use cases more efficiently than ever before,” Tanach added.

A marker of NeuReality’s continued momentum

According to Dr. Mukesh Khare, Vice President of Hybrid Cloud research at IBM Research, “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.”

As part of the agreement, IBM becomes a design partner of NeuReality and will work on the product requirements for the NR1 chip, system, and SDK that 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, security, and more.

Following NeuReality’s announcement of  its first-of-a-kind AI-centric architecture back in February and its collaboration with Xilinx to deliver their new AI-centric FPGA-based NR1-P platforms to the market  in September, this agreement with IBM marks the company’s upward trajectory and continued momentum.

 

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Categories
AI

NeuReality emerges from stealth to accelerate AI workloads at scale

NeuReality, a Caesarea, Israel-based startup developing high-performance AI hardware for cloud datacenters and edge nodes, today emerged from stealth with $8 million. The company, which counts among its board of directors Naveen Rao, former GM of Intel’s AI product group, says the funding will lay the groundwork for the launch of its first product later in 2021.

Machine learning deployments have historically been constrained by the size and speed of algorithms and the need for costly hardware. In fact, a report from MIT found that machine learning might be approaching computational limits. A separate Synced study estimated that the University of Washington’s Grover fake news detection model cost $25,000 to train in about two weeks. OpenAI reportedly racked up a whopping $12 million to train its GPT-3 language model, and Google spent an estimated $6,912 training BERT, a bidirectional transformer model that redefined the state of the art for 11 natural language processing tasks.

NeuReality aims to solve these scalability challenges with purpose-built computing platforms for recommender systems, classifiers, digital assistants, language-based applications, and computer vision. The company claims its products, which will be made available as a service, can enable customers to scale AI utilization while cutting costs, lowering energy consumption, and shrinking their infrastructure footprint. In fact, NeuReality claims it can deliver 30 times the system cost benefit over today’s state-of-the-art, CPU-centric servers.

“Our mission is to deliver AI users best in class system performance while significantly reducing cost and power,” CEO and cofounder Moshe Tanach told VentureBeat via email. “In order to make AI accessible to every organization, we must build affordable infrastructure that will allow innovators to deploy AI-based applications that cure diseases, improve public safety, and enhance education. NeuReality’s technology will support that growth while making the world smarter, cleaner, and safer for everyone. The cost of the AI infrastructure and AI-as-a-service will no longer be limiting factors.”

NeuReality was cofounded in 2019 by Tanach, Tzvika Shmueli, and Yossi Kasus. Tanach previously served as director of engineering at Marvell and Intel and AVP of R&D at DesignArt-Networks, which was acquired by Qualcomm in 2012. Shmueli is the former VP of backend at Mellanox Technologies and VP of engineering at Habana Labs. And Kasus held a senior director of engineering role at Mellanox and was head of very large-scale integrations at EZChip.

NeuReality has competition in OctoML, a startup that similarly purports to automate machine learning optimization with proprietary tools and processes. Other competitors include Deci and DeepCube, which describe their solutions as “software-based inference accelerators,” and Neural Magic, which redesigns AI algorithms to run more efficiently on off-the-shelf processors by leveraging the chips’ available memory. Yet another rival, DarwinAI, uses what it calls generative synthesis to ingest models and spit out highly optimized versions.

But Tanach says the company is currently active in three main lanes: (1) Public and private cloud datacenter companies, (2) solution providers that build datacenter solutions and large-scale software solutions for enterprises, financial institutions, and government organizations, and (3) OEMs and ODMs that build servers and edge node solutions.

“There are no such solutions in the market today. The competition is split between various silicon and system products. The most obvious ones are the inference deep-learning accelerators [from] companies such as Nvidia, Intel, and startups that are competing in that market. However, these competitors have only part of the solution both from a system perspective and from an AI compute capabilities standpoint,” Tanach said. “[We] will release more information about the solution later this year when its first platform is ready. For now, the company can only share that the total cost of ownership of its AI compute service will be more efficient by an order of magnitude compared to existing solutions.”

Cardumen Capital, OurCrowd, and Varana Capital led today’s seed round, the company’s first public investment. NeuReality has 18 employees.

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Repost: Original Source and Author Link