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Avnet brings Mipsology FPGA deep learning to APAC

26 Mar 2020

Global technology solutions provider Avnet Asia and AI software vendor Mipsology today announced that Avnet will promote and resell Mipsology’s Zebra software platform to its APAC customer base. 

Zebra removes the technical complexity of FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays), making them plug-and-play with exceptionally fast performance. 

This agreement extends Avnet’s IoT ecosystem, bringing Mipsology’s deep learning inference acceleration solution to its Asia customers. 

Companies looking to deploy AI can now migrate to new FPGA-based acceleration technologies with no code change and gain a longer lifespan for software and hardware than with GPU-based solutions.

Avnet’s first product incorporating the solution will be the Zebra-powered Xilinx Alveo data centre accelerator cards and the range of offerings is expected to expand in the future. 

In addition to distributing the solution, Avnet offers a suite of services for customers looking at deploying machine learning for data centres, including hardware, software, system integration, application development, design chain and technical expertise.

FPGA programming requires the significant knowledge and expertise of specialised, hard-to-find hardware designers. 

Running neural networks defined with TensorFlow, PyTorch, Caffe, and other frameworks on FPGAs would normally require considerable manual time and effort.

Zebra eliminates this need, making FPGAs as simple to use for deep learning inference acceleration as CPU/GPU. 

 “Avnet is committed to driving IoT innovation and simplifying complexities, enabling businesses to deploy complete solutions more rapidly,” says supplier business management president Avnet Asia Alan Chui.

“The combination of Avnet’s comprehensive design services, Alveo’s best-in-class FPGA acceleration and Mipsology’s Zebra technology empowers our customers with a low-cost, high-performance and long lifespan solution for AI neural networking inference.”

Zebra accelerates computation in the inference phase, reducing latency and boosting the performance of machine learning applications. 

It enables any neural network to compute faster, typically with lower power consumption, at lower cost.

“Our team is thrilled that Avnet will introduce Zebra to its massive APAC customer base,” says Mipsology CEO and founder Ludovic Larzul. 

“Zebra has been tested by many users and proven effective for enabling real AI applications, reducing the risk of deploying them with direct transition from training to manual work. We look forward to helping Avnet’s customers not only in the data center, but also with industrial AI applications like video surveillance/analytics, transportation, robotics, satellites and smart cities.”

Earlier in the year, Avnet launched a new IoT-specific partner programme designed to provide developers with a place to build complete IoT solutions.

Using Avnet's IoTConnect platform, powered by Microsoft's Azure IoT Suite, developers can connect devices that address both the software and hardware needs of IoT solutions.

Avnet will be adding a comprehensive marketplace in the coming months, which will allow a developer to write IoT applications to its platform and offer them for sale.