NXP, Kalray demo Coolidge parallel processor in ‘BlueBox’
This is the third generation of massively parallel processor array from Kalray SA (Grenoble, France). The company announced the tape out of the design in August 2019 and received the 16nm FinFET silicon back from TSMC a few weeks ago. Kalray said it expects to be able to provide samples of Coolidge in April 2020.
Kalray has been running artificial intelligence software on the chip – including a demonstration with NXP – to show off the 80-core chip’s capabilities. Alongside 80, 64bit VLIW processor cores are 80 coprocessors designed to boost performance for artificial intelligence and compute intensive applications. This allows Coolidge to reach up to 4 teraFLOPS and 25 TOPS – about 25x the performance of the previous generation MPPA. The chip consumes less than 20W, Kalray has said.
Kalray is pitching Coolidge as a chip for data centers, for 5G and for autonomous vehicles. The company claims Coolidge is better than alternatives such as FPGAs, GPUs and AI processors. Coolidge is more power efficient at AI than the first two options and provides greater flexibility than AI processors that are often good at only machine learning and sometimes a limited set of neural networks.
Coolidge-based cards can be configured to accelerate vision, signal processing, encryption, software stacks, real-time protocols and other computational tasks, Kalray said.
“We are very happy to see the strategic partnership with Kalray reach a new milestone and have Coolidge integrated into the NXP BlueBox, our development platform for automated driving, showcased at CES. We are convinced NXP and Kalray will bring multiple benefits to the development and industrialization of ADAS and AD vehicles with safe and secure solutions integrating multiple critical functions and providing very high computing performance,” said Kamal Khouri, general manager of Advanced Driver Assistance at NXP Semiconductor.
NXP Semiconductor and Kalray announced a strategic partnership to address autonomous driving computing one year ago at CES2019. The demo of BlueBox with Coolidge inside is the first deliverable of the partnership. Kalray first mentioned Coolidge back in May 2017 (see Kalray’s Coolidge processor adds deep learning acceleration) and subsequently conducted an IPO of shares in the company to help fund its development (see Loss-making Kalray raises funds via IPO).
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