Skip to main content

Extensible Processing Units (XPUs) as Enablers of the High-Performance Low-Power Embedded Market

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - XPU (Extensible Processing Units (XPUs) as Enablers of the High-Performance Low-Power Embedded Market)

Reporting period: 2019-07-01 to 2019-11-30

Problem
Current microprocessors are either high-performance but not power-efficient or are low-power but unable to reach top performance. Also, they do not have strong real-time Current microprocessors are either high-performance but not power-efficient or are low-power but unable to reach top performance. Also, they do not have strong real-time capabilities. These bottlenecks are hindering advances towards fully automated AI based solutions. MOSAIK will deliver a novel modular architecture for the microprocessors demandedby IoT and AI growing markets providing simultaneously high-performance processing at low-power and vastly efficient real-time deterministic execution matching strict industry reliability and safely constraints.
Importance
There are many high-impact applications of IoT, AI and related technologies (see Figures 1 and 2) which will be enabled and/or empowered by MOSAIK’s processors
• Self-driving vehicle will require a large volume of chips in the coming years, including high-end microprocessors for complex control tasks. According to Frost & Sullivan (2017), https://store.frost.com/global-autonomous-driving-market-outlook-2018.html in 2024 there will be in Europe more than 1.5 million cars which will have at least conditional autonomy.
• Healthcare: As population ages around the world, the ability to monitor, diagnose and protect people in their homes significatively lowers public health costs while increasing quality of life allowing people to improve their health and quality of life. Robot-assisted surgery lets doctors perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than possible with conventional techniques as well as in site or remotely, democratizing healthcare as isolated communities will benefit from the same medical solutions as large urban areas.
• Smart power grid: IoT and related technologies help smart power grid systems to enhance various network functions throughout the generation, transmission and distribution of energy by providing connectivity and tracking. This is accelerating the pace of transition from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives (solar, wind, …) which are intermittent, unpredictable, and geographically distributed. Hence information exchange to match supply with demand, to optimize use and distribution de energy, etc. is crucial for making clean energy sources financially viable.
• Smart cities: different types of IoT sensors collect data and then insights gained from analyzing gathered data is used to manage assets, resources and services efficiently. The positive benefits of smart cities include enhanced traffic management, improved safety, reduced levels of pollution and lower energy consumption
MOSAIK has been able to validate the strong interest of the industry in Europe for a general-purpose processor based on RISC-V standards (Figure 3) able to provide high-performance and low-power with strong real-time capabilities for emerging computing needs: autonomous vehicle, mission critical robotics, smart cities, and other highly demanding IoT applications (Figure 4).
MOSAIK has also validated that robust real-time capabilities with deterministic processing would provide a solid competitive advantage for our high-performance low-power processors. Moreover, the strong input/output processing enabled by our novel technology is a must and will further distinguish our architecture in the market.
The SMEInst-1helped MOSAIK to validate the global market opportunity, business model, architecture definition and preliminary specification of our first product. MOSAIK has substantially improved the business plan adding the valuable feedback from over a dozen sources (potential customers & partners, investors, individual contributors, etc.) in Europe, the US and Israel working on autonomous vehicles, robotics and IoT.

MOSAIK has strengthen its collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center on European efforts such as LOCA (European Laboratory for Open Computer Architecture), and has become member of the RISC-V Foundation.

Market Validation has been successfully accomplished confirming a strong industry interest on our processor from key players in autonomous vehicles, robotics and industrial automation.

Business Model Validation and Economic Viability efforts have advanced by both, input from direct sources such as potential partners, customers and investors as well as data from indirect sources (Figure 7).

Strengthening the Team: the advisory board has been substantially strengthened with 3 additional technical and business semiconductor experts from the Europe, Israel and the US. MOSAIK generated a strong interest among leading technical and business people to join the company as soon as funding is available, and built solid relationships with leading companies, universities and other relevant organizations in Europe, US and Israel.
ARM and Intel processors, the standard choice for control processor, were developed to satisfy the processing needs of 2 and 3 decades ago, respectively. Intel chips were developed in the 80’s at the beginning of the personal computing revolution, while ARM, originated in the 90s with the emergence of mobility, focused in low-power from the onset.

MOSAIK novel processor architecture, MOZTM, with high scalability and flexibility, based on the open-source RISC-V standard, can handle low-power and high-performance tradeoffs in an exceedingly efficient manner. Built from grounds up to satisfy emerging IoT requirements, will be flexible and dynamically respond to real-time requirements (Figures 5 and 6). Our toolset will make it much simpler to build complex applications that run on heterogenous systems on a chip. Control is now much more challenging than it had been in previous computing generations due to complexities of multicore multithreaded chips, various levels of virtualization and of real-time demands. Mosaik will be focusing on complex control tasks for managing, in real-time, large number of data streams, input from hardware accelerators, co-processors and diverse and numerous sensors.

Some of the quotes provided by the letters of support to MOSAIK efforts show the need of MOZTM developments to permit the industry to move forward and allow Europe to lead in the following sectors:
HEALTH:
• “Due to the rapid advances in robotics and imaging processing .... and the need to achieve strong real-time high-performance processing to execute more and more complex surgeries”
AUTONOMOUS vehicle-Car Industry:
• “computers are needed to drive autonomous vehicles efficiency on a limited energy budget” “Today, autonomous vehicles have hit the processing efficiency wall and are unable to transition to Level 3+ autonomy and beyond”
• “demanding autonomous vehicle applications and investigate their performance and bottlenecks on current hardware platforms”
METROLOGY:
• “technologies that will bring 3D measurement data at the heart of enterprise data to significantly reduce time-to-market and fabrication costs …. in automotive, aerospace, consumer products and energy sectors”. “Due to rapid advances in quality control, virtual prototyping and model-based design …, we expect that processing demands will be more and more challenging”
RISC-V advantage
Key Concepts of IOT
MOSAIK SoCs made of flexible processing units
Main challenges in the high-end embedded market
Mosaik business model
Industrial and Commercial IoT Solutions
MOZTM architecure developed from grounds-up