Arm embraces Transformers with faster NPU

By Chris Edwards |  No Comments  |  Posted: April 9, 2024
Topics/Categories: Blog - IP  |  Tags: , , ,  | Organizations:

Arm has launched what the company claims is its highest-performance and most-efficient AI accelerator. According to the IP vendor, the Ethos-U85 NPU delivers a four-fold speed boost compared to its predecessor.

The new core also offers a 20% improvement in power efficiency, according to Arm. Rated at 4TOP/s at 1GHz, the U85 doubles the number of multiply-accumulate (MAC) units available in its line of NPUs together with hardware support for Transformer-based neural networks as well as the convolutional form used more frequently in edge AI up to now. Developers can use the same Ethos toolchain as before, with support for frameworks such as TensorFlow Lite and PyTorch.

“Edge AI use cases are becoming increasingly sophisticated and require secure, high performance compute systems to deliver on the opportunities of the AI era,” said Steve Tateosian, senior vice president of industrial MCUs, IoT, wireless at Infineon Technologies. “We look forward to building on Infineon’s long-standing partnership with Arm and enabling these sophisticated systems with Arm Ethos-U85 and the transformer network support it provides for edge AI deployments.”

Arm has put the core into its Corstone-320 reference design platform, intended for voice, audio, and vision systems. The platform combines the new NPU with the Cortex-M85 general-purpose processor and the Mali-C55 graphics processor. The platform includes software, tools, and support including Arm Virtual Hardware.

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