If you ask most people, they would say that we’re living in an age of artificial intelligence (AI). But the reality is that we’re just getting started. The age of artificial intelligence is still in its infancy. So many of aspects of our lives involve technology but we’re still having to feed that technology or manually operate that technology in order get the results we want. Autonomous driving, IoT, and modern manufacturing all use AI to some extent, but the amount is still very small. Dependence on AI will continue to grow exponentially over the next few years, but in order for applications to meet the demands for more AI, the processors that drive them must evolve. These processors need to be able carry out crucial initial calculations and analyze massive amounts of data quickly and accurately. Being powerful isn’t enough. If AI is to become truly useful, the processors must also be reliable, robust, and trustworthy.
This is where the Scalable Infrastructure for Edge Computing (Scale4Edge) project comes in. This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of the German government under the ZuSE program. The ZuSE projects are intended to meet the urgent prevailing needs and future needs of AI user industries for high-performing, high integrity processors. In that effort, the specific Scale4Edge project is researching and working to create an ecosystem made up of development tools, IP blocks, accelerators, firmware, etc. to significantly reduce development time and costs for application-specific edge processors. The ecosystem will utilize the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) for its scalability, flexibility, and cost-effective attributes. This, in turn, will give edge component providers a competitive advantage and allow them to develop high-quality edge devices quickly.