Flex Logix InferX X1 AI Inference Accelerator Takes on NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX

When it comes to AI inference accelerators, NVIDIA has captured the market as drones, intelligent high-resolution sensors, network video recorders, portable medical devices, and other industrial IoT systems use NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX. This might change as Flex Logix’s InferX X1 AI inference accelerator has been shown to outperform Jetson Xavier NX as well as Tesla T4.

The die size of the inference accelerator is smaller than a coin.
Figure 1: Die layout size……Source:Flex Logix

During the Linley Fall Conference 2020, Flex Logix showcased InferX X1 AI Inference Accelerator, its performance, and how it outperformed other edge inference chips. It is the most powerful edge inference coprocessor with high throughput, low latency, high accuracy, large model megapixels images, and small die for embedded computing devices at the edge. The estimated worst-case TDP (933MHz, YOLOv3) is 13.5W.

The coprocessor operates on the INT8 or BF16 precision over a batch size of 1 for minimum latency. The nnMAX Reconfigurable Tensor Processor accelerator engine exists in the edge inference coprocessor- InferX X1. The nnMAX Reconfigurable Tensor Processor is optimized for AI edge inference and is based on silicon-proven EFLX eFPGA technology. It provides data flow architecture, high-resolution utilization, low latency, high performance (at a batch size of 1), and low DRAM bandwidth. The accelerator engine is powerful for edge computing devices as it offers low-cost, low-power, and superior scalability.

Accelerator engine used is nnMAX™ Reconfigurable Tensor Processor Detection
Figure 2: nnMAX™ Reconfigurable Tensor Processor Detection……Source: Flex Logix

Specification

The chip has a 32-bit LPDDR4x DRAM with PCIe Gen 3/4 host interface.  The host interface is a 4 lane configuration.

Specification of InferX X1 inference accelerator
Figure 3: Specifications

Performance

According to the comparative benchmarks posted by Flex Logix, the chip outperforms Jetson Xavier NX as well as Tesla T4. It exceeds the performance in every model tested (YOLOv3, customer Model X, and customer Model Z). The InferX X1 chip uses a 2×2 array of nnMAX 1-D TPUs with 13MB (on-chip SRAM) in a chip that in total is 54 mm2. Below we compare its performance on 2 real customer models (customer model X and customer model Z) and on YOLOv3.

InferX X1 outperforms NVIDIA's Xavier NX up to 11x
Figure 4: Performance (1)……Source: Flex Logix
InferX X1 outperforms NVIDIA's Tesla T4
Figure 5: Performance (2)……Source: Flex Logix

 Availability and Cost

The availability of the InferX X1 edge inference accelerator:

Roadmap for availability of InferX X1 inference accelerator chip
Figure 6: Availability of the chip…..Source: Flex Logix

InferX beats Xavier NX Speed at a lower price and lower power. The pricing of InferX X1 can be seen in the table:

Edge inference accelerator is X1 is low cost and low power
Figure 7: InferX X1 Pricing ……Source: Flex Logix

Conclusion

The AI benchmarks show the chip is very powerful over existing edge inference chips. It will be interesting to see ultimately how this performs in the market. We are certainly waiting for the PCIe/M.2 board products from the company. Flex Logix plans to officially announce those and provide details on October 28th at the Linley Fall Processor Conference.

Flex Logix InferX X1 PCIe card
InferX X1 half-height half-length PCIe board – Source: EETimes

For more information, please visit Flex Logix

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