Inspur and Altera Launch Speech Recognition FPGA Solution with OpenCL

Server vendor Inspur Group and the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chipmaker Altera have launched a speech recognition acceleration solution based on Arria 10 FPGAs from Altera and deep neural networking algorithms from iFLYTEK, a speech technology provider in China.

"Software algorithms for deep learning models need be fine-tuned and optimized continuously. Server accelerators with fixed functionalities will have increasingly low efficiency over time and waste space and electricity," said Yu Zhenhua, director of technology at iFLYTEK, in a statement. "In contrast, FPGAs are flexible, customizable, and power-efficient. This is also an important reason that iFLYTEK decided to migrate DNN algorithms to a FPGA platform."

FPGAs, which have the characteristics of both an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and a general chip, can do data-parallel and task-parallel computing simultaneously, which allows them to be more efficient in dealing with specific applications. FPGAs are currently used in logic control, signal processing, image processing, and online recognition systems.

"Inspur's Arria 10 FPGA-based deep learning speech recognition solution further demonstrates the performance-per watt advantages that FPGA accelerators provide," said David Gamba, general manager of the computer and storage business unit at Altera, in a statement. "This success in solution development will become an important reference for FPGAs in the deep learning field."

Meanwhile, Inspur is also expanding its software cooperation on the speech recognition system, designing OpenCL programming frameworks combined with iFLYTEK's applications, to increase the efficiency of application programming. With these efforts, Inspur can enable the migration of more applications to FPGA-based platforms and foster an FPGA ecosystem, which includes FPGA software, hardware and an applied algorithms library.

Hu Leijun, vice president of Inspur, said that given the advantages of FPGA-based systems in terms of performance per watt, Inspur will expand its software cooperation with IFLYTEK and Altera on FPGA-based deep learning online speech recognition applications.

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