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Bill Jenkins, Senior Product Specialist for High Level Design Tools at Intel, presents the "Accelerating Deep Learning Using Altera FPGAs" tutorial at the May 2016 Embedded Vision Summit.

While large strides have recently been made in the development of high-performance systems for neural networks based on multi-core technology, significant challenges in power, cost and, performance scaling remain. Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are a natural choice for implementing neural networks because they can combine computing, logic, and memory resources in a single device. Intel's Programmable Solutions Group has developed a scalable convolutional neural network reference design for deep learning systems using the OpenCL programming language built with our SDK for OpenCL. The design performance is being benchmarked using several popular CNN benchmarks: CIFAR-10, ImageNet and KITTI.

Building the CNN with OpenCL kernels allows true scaling of the design from smaller to larger devices and from one device generation to the next. New designs can be sized using different numbers of kernels at each layer. Performance scaling from one generation to the next also benefits from architectural advancements, such as floating-point engines and frequency scaling. Thus, you achieve greater than linear performance and performance per watt scaling with each new series of devices.

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