Ever heard of GPUs that may be programmed on the fly? Vividsparks, an organization from Hubli, Karnataka, is engaged on making this attainable. Dr. Vijay Holimath, President and CEO of VividSparks, talks about how their firm introduced a revolution within the computing world.

L to R: Dr. Vijay Holimath (President and CEO of VividSparks), Mr. Shinobu Akahori (VP of IP VividSparks), and Mr. Spencer Simons (VP of Gross sales and Advertising of VividSparks)

Q. VividSparks makes a speciality of utilizing the POSIT quantity system in computing. What market or technical drawback do you search to unravel along with your product?

A. Allow us to put it in a simplified type. All of us have a smartphone, and everytime you watch a film, YouTube, or play a sport, your cellphone’s battery goes down drastically. These days, you get quick cellphones with high-end and excessive efficiency, however that pace comes with a value. Therefore, once you require pace, you devour extra battery energy. 

Therefore, these issues had been addressed in many various methods. Consequently, manufacturing semiconductor chips with a small dimension within the vary of 5 nanometers, seven nanometers, or 10 nanometers requires decrease fabrication and therefore lowers the know-how nodes, which supplies increased pace. Because it consumes a smaller chip, your cellphone or pc turns into smaller. Persons are addressing the issue within the above-mentioned method. However we tried to handle it in a really basic method. The basic lie in how we compute math in pc individuals are utilizing the floating level (FP) quantity system which was invented within the 1980s. This previous FP structure is modified as per the necessities and know-how nodes, which ends up in the design of a brand new processor. On the identical time, we got here up with the concept of addressing this battery drain difficulty by altering the quantity system.

Computation has a broader perspective, together with writing a program on a pc, taking part in video games, and so on. There’s arithmetic behind it. Therefore, once you watch a film or when taking part in a sport, the graphics or lighting results you see on the cellphone are because of arithmetic akin to trigonometric features, transformational features, divisional features, sq. roots, partial differential equations, likelihood idea, and so on. Persons are fixing this drawback with a floating level quantity system, invented within the 1980s. We got here throughout a novel quantity system referred to as the POSIT quantity system, which was invented in 2017. It took virtually 10 years of analysis and growth efforts from 2012 to return throughout this novel structure. 

We’re utilizing a POSIT quantity system to make the chip smaller and decrease the ability. Therefore, no matter you implement on the chip will probably be cheaper. In different phrases, the carbon footprint is decrease; therefore, energy consumption is decrease. So, should you run a sport, play a sport, or watch a film in your cell phone or pc, your battery gained’t drain drastically. You may now have to cost your battery each 5 or 6 hours, regardless that it’s possible you’ll use high-end merchandise whereas utilizing our system, it’s possible you’ll not have to cost your battery for 2 or three days utilizing our system. So, within the meantime, you’re additionally providing excessive efficiency. Therefore, the answer to all the issues is packed into one quantity system known as the POSIT quantity system.

Q. What sort of finish gadgets do your chips produce?

A. Now we have quite a few finish gadgets. It’s not restricted to smartphones or cellphones but additionally consists of high-performance computer systems and workstations as properly. We carefully work with numerous necessary clients throughout the globe. These computation items should not restricted to laptops or cellphones it is usually utilized in (IoT) the Web of Issues, Edge computing, Industrial Automation, and likewise in Self-drive help vehicles. All these items are pushed by our processors.

Q. How did you give you this concept? What’s the story behind it?

A. Initially, it was not about funding an organization or making a living. It began once I (Vijay) was sitting at dwelling, very uncommon. I used to be pursuing engineering, and after ending the sensible, I got here within the afternoon. I began taking a look at pc structure books and commenced turning the pages. I observed a floating level unit, which bought me . For instance, at any time when we do all this arithmetic utilizing pen and paper, it’s additional fed to the pc in a quite simple strategy to examine and provides the outcomes. Within the Maclaurin sequence, Taylor sequence, or partial differential or Gaussian theories, which you get to study in engineering diploma books or Bcom or BSC diploma books, you see all these mathematical equations. 

 “We’re all the time motivated in direction of arithmetic, arithmetic runs in our blood.”

I used to be all the time fascinated by how these items we remedy utilizing paper simply by including integration zero to infinity and fixing them, however how the identical factor is solved by a pc. This bought me into insanity. I began studying a variety of books, after which I got here to know the technical time period “pc arithmetic.” In different phrases, you’re doing all this computation on a pc. It is usually known as pc arithmetic. Therefore, after ending my engineering, I did my MPhil and Ph.D. in the identical area, i.e., Laptop Arithmetic. These are R&D levels, and I revealed some papers and located novel concepts and novel implementations. After that, I began engaged on it, and I labored on the identical area in Tokyo. I got here again to India in 2014. Then I suppose the POSIT quantity system modified the entire story.

a) HPC Multicore, b) Automotive Multicore, c) AI Multicore, and d) World’s first POSIT GPGPU (Credit score: VividSparks)

Q. How did you make your prototype, the primary MVP, the proof of idea, first one you made? How did you do it?

A. We carefully labored with Prof. John Gustafson. We’re the primary to show the POSIT number-based system, and that’s our working prototype.

“We launched the world’s first POSIT-based Normal Goal Graphic Processing Unit (GPGPU).”

Many firms have GPGPUs based mostly on completely different applied sciences, however they don’t seem to be POSIT-based. Therefore, we have now bought the world’s first posit-based processor, GPGPU, that’s made in India, and this crown additionally goes to me. We even have the compiler on this POSIT-based quantity system as properly. It’s additionally the world’s first compiler. So we have now all of the prototypes. 

Q. What’s your organization’s predominant USP for all its merchandise or applied sciences? One Distinctive Factor?

A. These days within the semiconductor market, all the things is licensed-based. In different phrases, if you wish to develop a processor and wish to promote it as a processor, often individuals make cash once they license their IP cores and promote them to the businesses, after which they generate income whereas we make income on a subscription-based. For instance, sooner or later, you get a cell phone free of charge whereas paying solely $1 per 12 months or solely $2 per 12 months, after which the cell phone is yours. In that case, we generate income on a subscription-based mannequin, which is our USP. The merchandise we have now consumes half the reminiscence dimension in comparison with all of the merchandise out there. One other USP is that our merchandise are programmable, one can program each {hardware} and software program. In different phrases, if there’s a bottleneck in any of your purposes, you may change this system software program or you may change the {hardware}, each the contouring, which is in contrast to within the trade. So these are all our market penetration or go-to-market methods, or it’s also possible to say USP.

Q. As you talked about, one can change the {hardware} and software program like FPGAs and rewrite the entire software program and alter the inner circuitry. Are you able to elaborate on that?

A. Probably the most attention-grabbing USP is, e.g., once you purchase a clean cellphone and it doesn’t encompass something, it solely has a reminiscence and scratch card. Then the salesperson will ask you about your necessities, akin to high-speed, low-speed, or medium-speed. While you inform the gross sales man your necessities, he’ll program your cellphone accordingly and provides it to you. Then you need to pay, let’s say, $1 or $2 per 12 months. Then, after one 12 months, you are feeling your cellphone may be very sluggish. It’s type of a variety of reminiscence. Then you definitely go to the salesperson and inform him to make the adjustments as per your new necessities. He’ll then change the entire thing. He’ll provide you with one large file to put in, after which it will likely be like a brand new cellphone once more. 

“These days processors in cellphones should not programmable and are static, however utilizing our know-how you may change each {hardware} and software program.”

This gives you excessive efficiency, after which you may run it for a number of extra years. So that is how the mannequin works. You may have a brand new cellphone yearly with out shopping for one. On common, a brand new cellphone prices round $135 to $200 within the vary. In case you use our know-how, you don’t want to purchase a cellphone each time. Solely updating it should give you all the brand new options. Therefore, there are a variety of benefits for the businesses and the shoppers, and the carbon footprint is decrease, therefore its helpful nature as properly. In case you use one cellphone for 10 years or 20 years, you don’t want to purchase a brand new cellphone. So the concept behind that is to extend the lifecycle of the product.

Q. Are you able to inform us about your AI Multicore processor?

A. As AI/ML comes into a variety of issues, I’ll give one instance. In protection, there’s picture recognition that is available in. Let’s say the Navy has to detect objects beneath the ocean or detect missiles. They need to detect it and need to take actual motion. Therefore, environment friendly picture video processing is required, for which synthetic intelligence is available in. There are algorithms to make this detection, and a variety of mathematical computation is concerned. Therefore, the 2 most necessary elements are inference and coaching. So you need to practice it after which infer it. On this case, the POSIT has a major position as a result of it has the next dynamic vary and a decrease information width. In different phrases, with decrease information width, you may get good outcomes. So, regardless of the know-how you see, these days, state-of-the-art, the dynamic vary is low. In different phrases, regardless of the enter or output you do to the circuit, it should both go underflow or overflow. The end result has two extremes, that’s, should you take a look at arithmetic, there are increased and decrease information ranges, i.e., zero to at least one, one to 2, and so on. If it goes on the appropriate facet, it’s better; if it goes on the left facet, it’s smaller. Therefore, the smaller the numbers go, it underflows; the larger the numbers go, it overflows. Within the present processor, it overflows, and they’ll chop it off right here and chop it up there. Utilizing our know-how, there are not any overflows or underflows; it stays the identical. Therefore, increased precision means extremely correct detection and correction algorithms and good mathematical outcomes.

Q.What sort of analysis and growth operations occur in India?

A. We did all of the analysis and growth for chips in India, akin to RacEr, GPGPU, and FalKon. Thus, all of the R & D work was carried out in India, however our engineers are all around the world, like in Madrid, Tokyo, Paris, and Washington. So, our HQ is in India, however our engineers and our predominant workforce are throughout the globe.

Q. What has been your commercialization story?

A. These days individuals don’t wish to pay, which is the laborious fact. Folks don’t wish to pay for IP cores, particularly in semiconductors. Therefore, we determined to have subscription-based gross sales, to allow them to use it at a really minimal price. Thus, utilizing our product, they don’t want any infrastructure, lab, or {hardware} to run the board, and so on. They’ll apply it to the cloud. They’ll use it, let’s say, for $100 for a 12 months or $100 per 30 days. So, that is how we’re doing the commercialization. For our companions, we offer the IP cores freed from cost. Thus, they combine it, after which we cost the top clients the identical subscription-based as I discussed, both month-to-month or yearly. Our chips can be found commercially all around the world.

Q. What sorts of firms are your clients? What sort of individuals typically strategy you for subscriptions in India?

A. Firms, institutes, and R&D facilities in  AI/ML, HPC, GPU computing, and automotive computing. In India, we carefully work with authorities institutes. Often, overseas, we’re approached to speed up their purposes. They wish to see how way more correct, how a lot better efficiency, or low reminiscence consumption they will get by utilizing our product. Thus, individuals are very enthusiastic about utilizing this know-how.

Q. Are you presently in search of funding or funding in your firm?

A. For now, we don’t require funding, but when we have now a superb alternative that’s mutually helpful, we are able to contemplate it. However I’m not so eager on the funding, as we have now good clients offering us with a superb revenue. 

Q. What are your normal hiring traits?

A. Since our area is very technically specialised, a few of the college students should not so geared up with these sorts of applied sciences, i.e., semiconductors. College students are well-versed with VLSIs, VERILOG, and FPGAs, however in our case, it requires excessive mathematical expertise. Analysis professionals, possibly we plan to supply internships.

Q. What are the plans for the growth of ViviSparks in India and overseas?

A. In India, I don’t require any branches as a result of solely HQ is sufficient, however we’re planning to develop to different international locations. We’re primarily an export-oriented firm, so we don’t concentrate on India alone. Now we have robust distribution throughout the globe. 

Q. Are there any alternatives for different corporations to companion with you to develop your buyer base? 

A. Ya, after all, we’re enthusiastic about partnering with any institutes or firms. Whether it is for offering funding and is helpful for them or mutually helpful, then we’d like to be partnered. 

Q. What do you wish to add or convey to our viewers?

A. I might add that our know-how is subscription-based which can present telephones or any digital tools at a less expensive price. Therefore, we imagine know-how must be novel—not costly. And novel know-how needs to be accessible and inexpensive for everybody. 

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