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How FPGAs Enable AI and ML in PCs

FPGA for Edge AI
Posted 08/18/2022 by Matt Dobrodziej, Vice President of Segment Marketing and Business Development, Lattice Semiconductor

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Every year, PC manufacturers introduce an array of new laptops packed with the latest technologies and features, all designed to deliver great user experiences. Historically, these came in the form of form factor innovations, screen enhancements, and user interface improvements. However, the growing popularity of AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) has opened a new world of possibilities and PC manufacturers and ecosystem giants are all looking for ways to add these advance new capabilities to their feature sets.

In this blog we’ll discuss the growing trends of AI/ML capabilities in PCs, why FPGAs are ideally suited to enable these new experiences, and give examples of in-market PC solutions powered by Lattice technology.

Improving the PC User Experience with AI/ML Capabilities

For many people around the world, a significant portion of their day is spent in front of a computer screen. Because of this, system designers are focused on creating ways that allow both technology and people to be more efficient each day. AI/ML features like presence detection and attention tracking aren’t just there for the satisfying feeling you get from your computer starting when you approach it. These types of features help save battery power and can even help provide digital wellbeing functionality like screen fatigue and posture. In fact, Lattice solutions have helped enable attention tracking that delivers up to 28% additional battery life.

Beyond increased efficiency, AI/ML features such as on-looker detection can help prevent visual hacking to protect user privacy. And with more resources available in system designs to process increasing amounts of audio and video call data, AI/ML features are helping deliver higher quality video conferencing experiences. This is particularly helpful in enabling virtual collaboration amongst increasingly dispersed teams.

PCs are also gaining new user interface methods, adding AI-enabled voice and gesture-based capabilities, giving users more way than ever to interact with and control their systems.

FPGA for Edge AI

Key Benefits of FPGAs When Adding AI/ML Features to PCs

Low power Lattice FPGAs are ideal to enable these smart AI/ML features efficiently without sacrificing the bandwidth or battery power, due to their inherent flexibility and adaptability. With low power FPGAs, processes once managed by the CPU can be offloaded to the FPGA to achieve more power efficiency and make room for designers to add new features to their models.

FPGAs are reprogrammable, so system designers can continuously develop, test, and implement improvements to existing features or introduce entirely new ones versus waiting for the next generation system. And, because their algorithms are constantly evolving, FPGAs are the ideal for keeping up with these changes so new features can continue to be improved upon over the PCs lifecycle.

FPGA for Edge AI

Currently Available Lattice-based PCs

Such AI/ML features are available today from multiple industry leading PC manufacturers including Google Chromebook, Lenovo, and LG, all powered by Lattice technology.

Lenovo in collaboration with Google Chromebook recently announced its latest Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook, leveraging the combined hardware and software expertise of all three companies to enable advanced user presence detection and privacy features in Lenovo’s 2-in-1 laptop. The laptop and these new capabilities are powered by Lattice low power FPGAs built on the award-winning Lattice Nexus™ platform. Learn more here.

Earlier this year Lenovo also announced its premium Lenovo ThinkPad™ X1 portfolio, which uses a fully integrated client hardware and software solution from Lattice to deliver advanced user experiences including immersive engagement, privacy, and collaboration without sacrificing performance or battery life. Learn more here.

LG announced its latest LG gram laptop lineup earlier this year, providing security and digital wellness features for a new generation of advanced user experiences. The new LG gram lineup leverages attention sensing technology from Lattice’s AI and computer vision software solution, Glance by Mirametrix®, to enable these advance features. Learn more here.

These collaborations showcase how Lattice FPGAs and software solutions can help PC designers introduce new AI/ML features to their systems. If you have any questions about how Lattice can help you enable next-gen AI/ML experiences, be sure to reach out to us today!