AMD unveils Embedded+ architecture for edge AI hardware

Advanced Micro Devices unveiled its brand new Embedded+ architecture, a fusion of AMD Ryzen Embedded processors with Versal adaptive System-on-Chips (SoCs) on a unified integrated board.

These chips — a hybrid of PC processors and Xilinx programmable chips — are engineered to empower hardware companies looking to accelerate power-efficient AI applications. It’s aimed at enabling original design manufacturers (ODMs) to accelerate the time for building edge AI applications that are scalable and power efficient.

Chethan Khona, a senior director at AMD, said in a press briefing that the AMD Embedded+ architecture connects the Xilinx-based Versal programmable chips and Ryzen embedded processors via a PCI link on the same motherboard. But the end products are developed by original device manufacturers (ODMs), or PC makers.

This is one of the reasons why AMD bought Xilinx, a maker of programmable chips, for $50 billion in 2022. That deal gave AMD a variety of AI engines to help accelerate edge AI processing in its computing products, Khona said.

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“Embedded+ is another take on the synergy that exists from the two companies coming together,” Khona said. “But it’s more focused on industrial, medical, smart city infrastructure, and even automotive embedded systems.”

Embedded+ is all about “making the path to getting data into a PC more streamlined than ever before. Whether data is coming from multiple discrete sensors or industrial networks, Embedded+ enables developers to acquire data processing in real time, and even offer visualization options.”

Reduced qualification times, accelerated innovations

The AMD Embedded+ platform, validated painstakingly by AMD, streamlines ODM qualification and build times. This hastens the time-to-market without requiring additional hardware or research and development (R&D) resources.

Designed to offer a simplified path to AI inferencing, sensor fusion, industrial networking, control, and visualization, the Embedded+ architecture is targeting multiple sectors, including medical, industrial, and automotive applications.

Khona said, “In industrial and medical applications, many decisions need to happen in milliseconds. Embedded+ maximizes the value of partner and customer data, with energy efficiency and performant computing that enables them to focus in turn on addressing their customer and market needs.”

Innovative combination

AMD’s Embedded+ architecture is pioneering in its combination of AMD x86 compute with integrated graphics and programmable hardware for essential AI inferencing and sensor fusion applications. This amalgamation of adaptive computing for deterministic, low-latency processing and AI Engines for high-performance inferencing distinguishes Embedded+ as an industry-first solution.

The Ryzen Embedded processors, boasting high-performance “Zen” cores and Radeon graphics, contribute to world-class rendering and display options, along with a built-in video codec for 4K H.264/H.265 encode decode.

The architecture’s uniqueness lies in its ability to leverage the strengths of each technology, resulting in a solution that excels in low-latency processing and high-performance inferencing simultaneously. This makes it well-suited for applications requiring adaptive computing in real-time with flexible I/O, AI Engines for inferencing, and AMD Radeon graphics.

Sapphire Technology leads the way

Sapphire Technology, a key player in the ODM ecosystem, has introduced the first ODM solution based on the Embedded+ architecture – the Sapphire Edge+ VPR-4616-MB. This low-power Mini-ITX form factor motherboard is driven by the Ryzen Embedded R2314 processor and Versal AI Edge VE2302 Adaptive SoC, offering a comprehensive suite of capabilities at power levels as low as 30 watts.

“This is an example of a tangible offering that uses the Embedded+ architecture,” Khona said.

Adrian Thompson, senior vice president of global marketing at Sapphire Technology, said in a statement, “By working with a compute architecture that is validated and reliable, we’re able to focus our resources to bolster other aspects of our products, shortening time to market and reducing R&D costs. Embedded+ is an excellent, streamlined platform for building solutions with leading performance and features.”

The Embedded+ qualified VPR-4616-MB from Sapphire Technology is now available for immediate purchase at launch, signaling a new era in embedded processing and AI capabilities. AMD’s strategic move aims to propel edge AI applications forward, setting a benchmark for efficiency and innovation in the semiconductor landscape.

“Embedded+ architecture brings the best of Ryzen embedded x86 processors and Versal AI edge adaptive SoC in a single integrated compute platform,” Khona said.

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