BrainChip Partners with Frontgrade Gaisler to Put Neuromorphic AI Smarts in Future Space-Ready SoCs

Even as Akida orbits the planet in a test-bed "Brain," work is underway to integrate neuromorphic technology in future spacecraft.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month ago β€’ Machine Learning & AI

Neuromorphic computing specialist BrainChip has announced a partnership with Frontgrade Gaisler, which will see the Akida processing platform integrated into next-generation radiation-hardened chips designed to take artificial intelligence (AI) to the stars.

"Adding AI capabilities to our next generation microprocessors would set a new standard for modern space-grade computing devices," claims Frontgrade Gaisler's Sandi Habinc of the company's partnership with BrainChip. "The success of this joint effort could empower organizations to leverage AI technology to enhance mission efficiency, ultimately advancing the frontiers of what is possible in space."

The partnership will see BrainChip's Akida processor platform, which delivers energy-efficient on-device machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities through an architecture inspired by the way the human brain works, integrated into next-generation processors designed specifically for use in space.

This isn't BrainChip's first attempt to venture beyond the confines of the Earth's atmosphere. Back in March the company announced a partnership with ANT61 to put Akida neuromorphic computing technology into the ATN61 Brain computer β€” and to launch it into low Earth orbit as a test-bed aboard Space Machines Company Optimus-1.

"When we say that we are dedicated to growing AI everywhere, we mean it," boasts BrainChip chief executive officer Sean Hehir. "From everywhere on Earth to the edge of space, we are committed to helping develop devices that can provide the low cost, efficiency and on-sensor intelligence required in the most extreme conditions.

"Those participating in this latest leg of the Space Race will find a tremendous advantage in leveraging neuromorphic technology to overcome the challenges that would otherwise keep their missions grounded or, at least, limited."

"Ensuring the availability, accessibility and reliability of technology and devices utilized as part of spacecraft platforms and payloads is of utmost importance for the Agency and its state-of-the-art space missions," opines the European Space Agency's Ali Zadeh in support of the plan.

"Integrating neuromorphic capabilities in a space-grade SoC [System-on-Chip] represents an exciting technological avenue for the next generation of space applications. A collaboration between Frontgrade Gaisler and BrainChip to utilize such advanced technologies for space is therefore very encouraging."

More information on the Akida platform is available on the BrainChip website, while Frontgrade Gaisler's current processor designs β€” including free and open-source processors β€” are detailed on its own website.

Main article image courtesy of NASA.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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