Artificial Intelligence

AI tool empowers software developers with deep learning

11th December 2019
Alex Lynn

Xilinx has announced its AI inference development platform, Vitis AI is available for immediate download free of charge. Combined with the Vitis unified software platform, Vitis AI empowers software developers with deep learning acceleration, as part of their software code.

Vitis AI integrates a domain-specific architecture (DSA) and configures Xilinx hardware to be optimised and programmed using industry-leading frameworks like TensorFlow and Caffe. It provides the tools to optimise, compress and compile trained AI models running on a Xilinx device in as little as one minute. Xilinx has also open sourced Vitis accelerated libraries and Vitis AI models, as well as corresponding example designs that can be used from endpoint to edge in addition to cloud platforms.

At the Xilinx Developer Forum (XDF) Americas in early October, Xilinx first unveiled Vitis, a unified software platform that enables a broad new range of developers – including software engineers and AI scientists – to take advantage of the power of hardware adaptability. Five years and a total of 1,000 man years in the making, Vitis automatically tailors the Xilinx hardware architecture to the software or algorithmic code without the need for hardware expertise.

Rather than imposing a proprietary development environment, the Vitis platform plugs into common software developer tools and utilises a rich set of optimised open source libraries, enabling developers to focus on their algorithms.

Vitis is separate to the Vivado Design Suite, which will still be supported for those who want to program using hardware code, but the new platform can also boost the productivity of hardware developers by packaging hardware modules as software-callable functions.

The Xilinx developer site provides easy access to examples, tutorials and documentation, as well as a portal to connect the Vitis and Vitis AI developer community.

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