Press Releases 2023
SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) and EdgeCortix Inc. (“EdgeCortix”) announced they collaborated for technology development to improve the performance efficiency of wireless accelerators*1 by using EdgeCortix IP (intellectual property) solutions, which is characterized by high-speed processing and low power consumption applied to AI.
A network infrastructure that is scalable, highly reliable and energy-efficient is essential not only for Beyond 5G and 6G mobile communication systems, but also for the environment and the sustainable development of the telecommunications industry. To reduce overall network infrastructure cost and power consumption as well as offer the next generation of services, there is a growing need for a wireless base station virtualization technology that offloads computationally demanding Layer 1 High-PHY*2 processing to dedicated accelerators.
SoftBank and EdgeCortix have adapted EdgeCortix's DNA (Dynamic Neural Accelerator®) IP technology*3 to Layer 1 High-PHY processing and implemented low-density parity-check (LDPC) encoding*4. This is a type of wireless error correction code that has been deployed on FPGA boards. As a result, SoftBank and EdgeCortix achieved throughput of approximately 36Gbps, which is equivalent to almost 10 times the throughput compared to publicly available data of commercial IP solutions. By expanding the application of this IP technology, SoftBank will realize more energy-efficient and low-latency wireless accelerators. In the future, SoftBank will determine the feasibility of applying this technology to the entire High-PHY process to realize a radio accelerator with higher performance.
- *1Hardware specialized for specific processing that is difficult to run at high speed on a general-purpose processor (CPU) and that supports high-speed processing.
- *2The part of the physical communication layer (PHY) in wireless communications that performs modulation and error correction of digital signals.
- *3EdgeCortix's proprietary patented technology that excels in efficiently performing operations specific to Opportunistic Learning applications, especially neural networks.
- *4One of methods of wireless error correction code and used to transmit message on a communication channel with noise.
Encoder throughput measurement results (COTS: Commercial off-the-shelf)
- *Measured with parameters defined in 3GPP TS 38.212 (BG=2, CodeBlockSize=3840, Zc=384, E=19200)
Comment from each company
“Improving the performance and the energy efficiency of our network infrastructure is a major challenge for the future” said Ryuji Wakikawa, Head of SoftBank Corp.'s Research Institute of Advanced Technology. “Our expectation of EdgeCortix is to be a partner who can provide both the IP and expertise that is needed to tackle these challenges simultaneously. We will continue to work with the EdgeCortix team to research the best accelerators to further improve performance and conserve power to deliver a high-quality network.”
“The Open RAN acceleration opportunity with SoftBank Corp. was tailor-made for our Edge AI Platform and the Dynamic Neural Accelerator IP we've developed over the last three years,” said Sakyasingha Dasgupta, CEO and Founder of EdgeCortix, “Our IP was designed to be runtime-reconfigurable, while being agnostic to AI models and the inherent complex mathematics in them. We have developed a very nimble architectural design delivered through our key assets: MERA compiler and software framework, scalable neural network engines and the SAKURA system-on-chip architecture; we are able to customize our Platform to the unique needs at the intersection of AI and the 5G space. The performance we've achieved on our prototype system while collaborating with SoftBank's R&D team to date has even surprised us. In the future, we will pursue adaptation to end-to-end 5G wireless accelerator solutions that span MEC and other systems.”
SoftBank will hold an event called “ギジュツノチカラ Advanced Tech Show 2023” on March 22 and 23, 2023 to showcase various initiatives of SoftBank's Research Institute of Advanced Technology, including the content of this press release. For more details about the event, please visit the event website. (* The event will be held in Japanese only)
Furthermore, readers are invited to visit the Research Institute of Advanced Technology's redesigned website to learn more about the various technology areas and initiatives that the institute is pursuing.
About EdgeCortix Inc.
EdgeCortix is an Edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) Platform company, focused on delivering class-leading compute efficiency and high-speed for AI inference and related complex mathematical operations at the edge. Founded in 2019 with the radical idea of taking a software first approach, while designing an artificial intelligence specific runtime reconfigurable processor from the ground up using a technique called “hardware & software co-exploration”. Targeting advanced computer vision applications first, using proprietary hardware and software IP on existing processors like FPGAs and novel Chiplet architectures with the SAKURA AI accelerator devices, the company is geared towards positively disrupting the rapidly growing edge AI acceleration space across defense, 5G/ telecommunications, aerospace, smart cities, industry 4.0, autonomous vehicles and robotics. For more information visit www.edgecortix.com
- EdgeCortix and all EdgeCortix logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of EdgeCortix, Inc. (or its group companies) in the US and other countries.
- SoftBank, the SoftBank name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of SoftBank Group Corp. in Japan and other countries.
- Other company, product and service names in this press release are registered trademarks or trademarks of the respective companies.