Artificial Intelligence

Blaize Pathfinder and Xplorer for computing on the edge

14th August 2020
Alex Lynn

Blaize has announced the company’s first AI computing hardware and software products, the Blaize Pathfinder and Xplorer, built to overcome today’s requirements for compute and productisation of AI applications at the edge.

With multiple feature advancements vs. legacy GPU/CPU solutions, the Blaize Pathfinder and Xplorer platforms coupled with the Blaize AI Software Suite hope to enable developers to usher in a new era of more practical and commercially viable edge AI products across a wide range of edge use cases and industries.

“Today’s edge solutions are either too small to compute the load or too costly and too hard to productise,” said Dinakar Munagala, Co-founder and CEO, Blaize. “Blaize AI edge computing products overcome these limitations of power, complexity and cost to unleash the adoption of AI at the edge, facilitating the migration of AI computing out of the data center to the edge.”

The Blaize embedded and accelerator platforms are built on the the Blaize Graph Streaming Processor (GSP) architecture designed for the demands of edge computing. With 16 GSP cores and 16TOPS of AI inference performance within a tiny 7W power envelope, GSP delivers up to 60x better system-level efficiency vs. GPU/CPUs for edge AI applications.

In addition, GSP enables 50x less memory bandwidth, and ten times lower latency. This efficiency comes without compromising flexibility - Blaize GSP is a 100% programmable processor – and features advanced capabilities including multi-threading and streaming.

Blaize Pathfinder P1600 embedded SOM

The P1600 embedded Systems on Module (SOM) claims to bring the programmability and efficiency benefits of the GSP to embedded edge AI applications deployed at the sensor edge, or on the network edge. No host processor is needed for the P1600, just plug it in and go.

Blaize Xplorer accelerator platforms

Blaize Xplorer platforms are built to accelerate AI applications at the edge of the enterprise via easy plug- in to the PCIe slot in a host server or appliance. The X1600E is a small form factor accelerator platform for small and power-constrained environments such as convenience stores or industrial sites.

This is an accelerator form factor available from Blaize due to the efficiency of the GSP – and can be easily added to accelerate AI apps in industrial PCs or as a rack of cards in a small 1U server.

The X1600P is a standard PCIe-based accelerator in a half-height, half-width form factor. The X1600P can easily replace a power-hungry desktop GPU in edge servers and provide anywhere from 16-64TOPS of AI inference performance within a very low power envelope.

Blaize AI software suite

The Blaize AI software suite is built on open standards with ease of accessibility to liberate product developers from being locked to proprietary development environments. Comprised of the Picasso software development kit (SDK), and AI Studio, a completely code-free visual interface, the software suite offers tools for both traditional developers and non-coder domain experts.

In addition, both tools sets utilise Blaize Netdeploy, a Blaize innovation with edge-aware algorithms to get the best accuracy and performance for edge deployments.

Customer samples of both product lines are available now with full production expected starting in Q4 2020. The Blaize Xplorer X1600E is available for $299 in volume quantity, the Pathfinder P1600 SOM is available in industrial grade for $399 in volume quantity, and the Blaize Xplorer X1600P is available for $999 in volume quantities.

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