October 22, 2020

【Press Release】LeapMind Collaborates with PALTEK to Accelerate the Development and Mass Production of Edge AI Solutions Utilizing FPGAs

Press release


Left: Naohide Yabuki, President and CEO, PALTEK Corporation  Right: Katsutoshi Yamazaki, VP & GM, Blueoil Division, LeapMind, Inc.

Efficiera officially supports PALTEK's So-One Module, with the aim of providing AI solutions for FPGAs in industrial equipment

LeapMind, Inc. (Location: Shibuya, Tokyo; CEO: Soichi Matsuda; hereinafter referred to as "LeapMind"), which provides solutions for companies that utilize deep learning technology, an elemental technology of AI (Artificial Intelligence), has partnered with PALTEK Corporation (Head Office: Kohoku-ku, Yokohama; President: Naohide Yabuki; Securities code: 7587; hereinafter referred to as "PALTEK") on an edge AI solution utilizing FPGAs. This will allow LeapMind to work with PALTEK to jointly provide optimal AI solutions to customers, toward the practical application of edge AI solutions. In addition, LeapMind's Efficiera ultra-low power AI inference accelerator now officially supports the So-One Module launched by PALTEK. This will shorten development lead-time for mass-produced products equipped with deep learning capabilities, and enable the mass production of on-device AI solutions.

Background and Outline of This Collaboration

In recent years, dramatic improvements have been made to the accuracy of deep learning, an elemental technology of AI, in a variety of fields such as image processing and voice processing. At present, it is common for processing to be performed using GPUs in the cloud. However, there are many cases in which efficient processing is not possible in the cloud, due to problems of communication volume, load, and latency at the time of inference. Performing inference processing on edge devices has become an important technical issue.

In particular, real-time IoT applications such as autonomous driving, smart cities, and robot control, which have strict restrictions regarding response speed and network environment, require inference processing with low-end devices that use little power and memory. Attention has been focused on using FPGAs to solve problems in the area of edge AI. FPGAs can achieve high performance and low latency with low power compared to CPUs and GPUs, and have long-term warranties and durability.

Since its founding in 1982, PALTEK, a participant in LeapMind's Efficiera FPGA Partner Program, has used FPGAs to provide product development support and technical support to Japanese electronics manufacturers. The company's strength, cultivated through its semiconductor sales, lies in its ability to support customers from proposal through to mass production, to create original boards such as the So-One Module, and integrated design services from design specification through mass production.

Based on this background, a collaboration was formed combining LeapMind's advanced technology for deploying AI capabilities in small edge devices such as low power SoC FPGAs with PALTEK's wealth of experience in industrial equipment, proposals, sales capabilities, and technical support through the introduction of mass production, making it possible to provide a high-precision edge AI solution package that meets the needs of the market within a short time frame.

Main Initiatives/Collaboration Method

With this collaboration, the strengths of both companies are combined to accelerate the development and mass production of edge AI solutions utilizing FPGAs. Both companies will propose and implement optimal solutions for solving customers' issues. Through joint sales expansion activities, solutions that integrate the So-One Module with Efficiera will be offered to select businesses initially. It will then become officially available to a large number of businesses that are considering the introduction of AI technology to industrial equipment such as construction and agricultural machinery.

Naohide Yabuki, President of PALTEK Corporation, had the following to say about this collaboration: "We are very pleased to sign the Efficiera FPGA Partner Program Agreement in order to be able to collaborate with LeapMind. Combining LeapMind's Efficiera with our So-One Module will open a wide range of new possibilities for our customers, such as the industrial equipment manufacturers with whom we have been working. We are confident that through this collaboration we will overcome any PoC issues and accelerate the practical application of mass-produced edge AI products."

Katsutoshi Yamazaki, VP & GM of Blueoil Division, LeapMind, Inc., had the following to say about this collaboration: "We are confident that our collaboration with PALTEK Corporation will allow us to accelerate the expansion of the edge AI business utilizing FPGAs. We feel very strongly that we will be able to provide integrated solutions together with PALTEK Corporation, which has a wealth of experience in industrial equipment. We will make proposals together to enhance the value of the customer experience and contribute to the practical application of our customers' edge AI products. LeapMind will continue to provide key technologies for the future, aiming to achieve our mission of bringing devices that use machine learning to the world."

Official Efficiera Support for So-One Module

LeapMind's Efficiera AI inference accelerator IP core now officially supports the So-One Module original hardware platform for edge AI from PALTEK. This will shorten development lead-time and reduce the cost for mass-produced products with deep learning capabilities, and accelerate the mass production of on-device AI solutions for customers. LeapMind will continue to expand Efficiera support for mass-produced boards, including the So-One Module.

Explanation of the official support of Efficiera for the So-One module.

Efficiera FPGA Partner Program

The Efficiera FPGA Partner Program was launched with the goal of co-creation of on-device AI systems and solutions that solve customer issues. By participating in this program, partners combine their products and services with Efficiera in order to develop and provide package services and systems that meet their customer's needs, and develop package services that add value to Efficiera.

Please feel free to contact us at the following URL if you would like to participate in the Efficiera FPGA Partner Program. ▶ Efficiera FPGA Partner Program Contact Form:https://leapmind.io/en/contact/other/

So-One Module

The embedded FPGA edge computing So-One Module developed by PALTEK and equipped with Xilinx's MPSoC* is the world's smallest MPSoC-equipped module capable of edge computing. The So-One Module enables mounting high-speed edge computing devices on drones, which has always proven a difficult challenge. In addition, installation in surveillance cameras in retail locations and line sensor cameras at manufacturing sites can greatly improve edge computing performance. This allows the acceleration of workloads such as AI-based lesion diagnosis support, sensor data analysis at factory facilities, and image analysis with industrial robots using vision sensors, leading to reduced system costs and power consumption. For more information about the So-One Module from PALTEK, please visit https://www.paltek.co.jp/newsrelease/press201020_So-One_Module/index.html

*MPSoC MPSoC, part of Xilinx's SoC portfolio, combines processor software programmability with FPGA hardware programmability for exceptional system performance, flexibility, and scalability. It also brings great benefits to the entire system, such as the ability to quickly commercialize low-power, low-cost designs.

Image of MPSoC alone and comparison between a 500 yen coin and MPSoC.


Efficiera is an ultra-low power AI inference accelerator IP core that operates as a circuit on FPGA or ASIC devices, and is specialized for CNN inference operations. It is scheduled to be officially released this autumn. Since the power efficiency and area efficiency of the convolution (which account for most of the inference processing) are maximized by the extremely low bit quantization technology that minimizes quantization to 1 or 2 bits, there is no need to use state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing processes or special cell libraries. It allows deep learning capabilities to be embedded in home electronics and other consumer appliances, construction machinery and other industrial equipment, surveillance cameras, and broadcasting equipment. It can also be embedded in various edge devices where it was technically difficult to add deep learning capabilities before due to restrictions on power, cost, and heat dissipation, such as small machines and robots. Official website:https://leapmind.io/en/products/efficiera-ip/

*Efficiera is a registered trademark of LeapMind, Inc. * The Xilinx name and Zynq, UltraScale +, and other brand names mentioned in this press release are registered trademarks or trademarks of Xilinx in the United States and other countries. All other names belong to their respective owners.

About PALTEK Corporation

Since its founding in 1982, PALTEK has provided semiconductor products in Japan and overseas to Japanese electronics manufacturers, as well as providing design contract services for hardware and software. As a partner in product development for customers, the company provides support from the examination of specifications to trial development and mass production. PALTEK contributes to our customers' development by providing optimal solutions based on our corporate philosophy of "coexistence with others". For more information about PALTEK, please visit https://www.paltek.co.jp

About LeapMind, Inc.

LeapMind, Inc. was founded in 2012 with the corporate philosophy of "bringing new devices that use machine learning to the world". Total investment in LeapMind to date has reached 4.99 billion yen. The company's strength is in extremely low bit quantization for compact deep learning solutions. It has a proven track record of achievement with over 150 companies, centered in manufacturing including the automobile industry. It is also developing its Efficiera semiconductor IP core, based on its experience in the development of both software and hardware.

Head office: Shibuya Dogenzaka Sky Building 5F, 28-1 Maruyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0044 Representative: Soichi Matsuda, CEO Established: December 2012 URL:https://leapmind.io/en/

For further information on this matter, please contact. LeapMind, Inc. PR/Branding Division PR manager TEL:03-6696-6267 MAIL:pr@leapmind.io

PALTEK Corporation. Contact person :State of the Art Solution AI Product MAIL : info_pal@paltek.co.jp ADDRESS : 6F Shin-Yokohama Square Building, 2-3-12 Shin-Yokohama, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture TEL : 045-477-2001 FAX : 045-477-2010

Inquiries about Products and Services LeapMind, Inc. Business Development Team, Blueoil Division Tel:03-6696-6267 E-mail:business@leapmind.io Official website:https://leapmind.io/en/products/efficiera-ip/