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25 November 2019

EU project TEMPO targets low-power chips for AI applications based on emerging memory technologies

November 25th, 2019imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, presents TEMPO: a unique cross-border collaboration between 19 research and industrial partners, funded by ECSEL Joint Undertaking which supports public-private partnerships in the EU. The three-year program aims at developing process technology and hardware platforms leveraging emerging memory technologies for neuromorphic computing for future applications in mobile devices that need complex machine-learning algorithms. It is a one-of-a-kind collaboration effort to enable applications that now need cloud-based server racks, to be executed within battery-powered mobile devices such as cars and smartphones (at the edge of the internet-of-things).

Increasingly, edge artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms enter our day-to-day products and applications such as smart home assistants with natural-language processing, face-recognition-based security systems or autonomous vehicles. In the coming years, the demand for these increasingly complex computational algorithms will only grow further. At this moment, high-end server parks process the data in the cloud. However, sending data to the cloud costs energy, latency, and is often not preferred for privacy reasons. As such, the ultimate edge artificial intelligence applications require intelligent energy-efficient local processing.

Luc Van den hove, CEO at imec: “We are delighted to enter in such broad European collaboration effort on Edge Artificial Intelligence, gathering the relevant stakeholders in Europe, including CEA-Leti and Fraunhofer, two of our most renowned colleague research centers in Europe. Thanks to our combined expertise, we can scan more potential routes forward than what would be possible by each of us individually, and as such, position Europe in the driver seat for R&D on AI. Imec looks forward to the progress we can make together in the TEMPO project and hopes this will lead to more similar collaborations in the future. Behind the scenes, we are already defining more public and bilateral agreements with several of the partners involved.”

About TEMPO

TEMPO (Technology & hardware for nEuromorphic coMPuting) is a European innovation project. This project has received funding from the ECSEL Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 826655. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and from Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland. TEMPO was kicked off on the 1st of April 2019 and has a duration of three years. The consortium of this ambitious project consists of no less than nineteen members. Imec takes the lead as the sole Belgian consortium partner. The other consortium members are, for France: CEA-LETI, ST-Microelectronics Crolles, ST-Microelectronics Grenoble, Thales Alenia Space and Valeo. For Germany: Bosch, Fraunhofer EMFT, Fraunhofer IIS, Fraunhofer IPMS, Infineon, Innosent, TU Dresden and Videantis. For the Netherlands: imec the Netherlands, Philips Electronics and Philips Medical Systems. For Switzerland: aiCTX and the University of Zürich.

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