Brainchip launches world-first neuromorphic device for AI industry

Brainchip ASX BRN launches Akida neuromorphic device AI artificial intelligence
The artificial intelligence acceleration chipset marketplace is expected to surpass US$60 billion by 2025.

Technology company Brainchip Holdings (ASX: BRN) has launched an industry-first breed of neuromorphic computing devices into the artificial intelligence (AI) marketplace.

Inspired by the biological function of neurons but engineered on a digital logic process, the Akida neuromorphic system-on-chip (NSoC) is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.

It is a small, low-cost, low-power chip marketed to applications such as advanced driver assistance systems, autonomous vehicles, drones, vision-guided robotics, surveillance and machine vision systems.

The hardware is based on third generation spiking neural network technology requiring inherently less power than traditional convolutional neural networks, as it replaces the latter’s math-intensive technology with biologically-inspired neuron functions and feed-forward training methodologies.

Each Akida chip contains 1.2 million neurons and 10 billion synapses – representing 100 times better efficiency than neuromorphic test chips from Intel and IBM.

Chips include sensor interfaces for traditional pixel-based imaging, dynamic vision sensors, audio and analogue signals as well as high-speed data interfaces such as PCI-Express, USB, and ethernet.

The technology’s scalability allows users to network many Akida devices together to perform complex neural network training and inferencing for markets including agricultural and financial technology, and cybersecurity.

Training options

Embedded within each Akida neuron model are innovative methodologies for supervised and unsupervised training.

The technology allows off-chip training in the Akida development environment, launched in July as a machine-learning framework for the creation, training and testing of spiking neural networks.

On-chip training is also available utilising a central processing unit to control the configuration of the neuron fabric.

Brainchip chief executive Lou DiNardo said the NSoC development is a win for the AI industry.

“Despite their best efforts, no other company, large or small, has managed to bring a neuromorphic computing chip to market in production volumes,” he said.

“Artificial intelligence at the edge is going to be as significant and prolific as the microcontroller and we are collaborating with major global manufacturers in a multi-market strategy to drive early adoption of our device.”

Company mission

Akida is the flagship product in BrainChip’s mission to become a leading neuromorphic computing company helping to improve the human condition and make industry worldwide more productive.

Industries currently benefiting from Akida include public safety, transportation, agricultural productivity, financial security, cybersecurity and healthcare – large growth markets representing a $4.5 billion opportunity for Brainchip by 2025.

The company’s spiking neural network technology can learn autonomously, evolve and associate information just like the human brain.

At midday, shares in Brainchip were trading 18.75% higher at $0.190.

Imelda Cotton has over 20 years experience as a journalist and communications professional. She has spent the bulk of her career in the resources sector, having also worked directly with oil and gas majors and as a journalist covering a vast array of ASX listed companies within the resources, energy, science and health sectors.