ARM improves ML capabilities with Ethos-U65 core

October 19, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
ARM improves ML capabilities with Ethos-U65 core
ARM Ltd. has announced the Ethos-U65 neural processing unit core as an improvement and complement to the previously introduced U55.

The Ethos-U55, launched in February 2020, is designed as a neural network accelerator for microcontrollers and is configurable with between 32 and 256 8x8 multiply-accumulate units (see ARM boosts machine learning for MCUs ).

The Ethos-U65 offers the same performance and power efficiency as the Ethos-U55 but extends applicability to Arm Cortex-A and Arm Neoverse based systems. Although Ethos-U65 can be used alongside any Cortex-A or Neoverse CPU, it is particularly well suited to Arm CPUs with advanced vector capabilities, such as the Cortex-A55, ARM said.

The Ethos-U65 provides two different configurations of 256 and 512 MACs/cycle. It includes a dual AXI which delivers better bandwidth for weight bound networks. For more complex systems, this results in an average increase in network performance (infs/sec) of 150 percent over Ethos-U55.

The Ethos-U65 is designed for use with DRAM based systems, which leads to higher bandwidth availability. This allows Ethos-U65 to be used with more classes of embedded systems.

While using Ethos-U65 in a Cortex-A or Neoverse based system, the software flow remains the same as Ethos-U55, using TFLmicro runtime. The TFLmicro stack runs on a companion Cortex-M processor next to the NPU and handles any offload operators that cannot be executed on the microNPU itself.

With the Ethos-U65. it is possible to accelerate much larger networks, enabling applications such as real-time object detection, classification, and recognition. The Ethos-U65 uses the same software and tools as Ethos-U55.

NXP Semiconductors NV will integrate the Ethos-U65 microNPU into its next generation of i.MX applications processors.

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