KnuEdge, UC San Diego Host Premier Industry Conference to Drive Next-Gen Machine Learning Performance

Heterogeneous Neural Networks Conference and Competition to Be Held Spring 2017 at Calit2 UC San Diego

San Diego, July 26, 2016 —  KnuEdge™, delivering LambdaFabric neural computing technology that accelerates machine learning and signal processing, in partnership with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at UC San Diego, today announced the Heterogeneous Neural Networks (HNN) Conference, to be held in spring 2017 in San Diego, Calif. The event will also include a KnuEdge-sponsored research paper competition, challenging participants to enable the next-generation of machine learning performance and efficiency through developing heterogeneous neural network algorithms.

Former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin is CEO of KnuEdge and is leading the charge to speed up machine learning via heterogeneous neural networking.

"Machine learning has captured the tech industry's attention due to its potential to positively disrupt computing, accelerating cutting-edge technologies ranging from medical research to financial and insurance risk analysis, facial and voice recognition and augmented reality," said Dan Goldin, CEO of KnuEdge. "But to get there, we must encourage and accelerate innovation and unlock what's next in the field. That is why we've decided to launch the Heterogeneous Neural Networking Conference with Calit2."

KnuEdge and Calit2 have worked together since the early days of the KnuEdge LambdaFabric processor when key personnel and technology from UC San Diego provided the genesis for the first processor design. The HNN Conference brings the two organizations back together to focus on advancing machine learning capability and performance. 

Heterogeneous Algorithm Competition

Preceding the conference, KnuEdge will sponsor a research paper competition for the most innovative and effective heterogeneous algorithms built on today's advanced computing architectures. Currently, there is relatively little opportunity for researchers in the emerging field of heterogeneous neural networks to share their work and collaborate with other experts. This workshop will enable these specialists to learn and exchange ideas with their peers, showcase their work and gain recognition as pioneers of the discipline. 

KNUPATH  incorporates new neural computing processing technology

Sparse Matrix Algorithms

The vast majority of machine learning computing today is based on homogenous and convolutional neural network technology, an approach that took hold largely due to the availability of traditional computer architectures, but at the expense of extraordinary computational time and power. Industry thought leaders have long suspected that much greater efficiency and performance could be driven through the use of sparse matrix versus dense matrix multiplication.

For instance, the GoogLeNet paper Going deeper with convolutions by Christian Szegedy et al., proposes a solution to overfitting and wasted computation with required large computing infrastructure: "The fundamental way of solving both issues would be by ultimately moving from fully connected to sparsely connected architectures, even inside the convolutions. Besides mimicking biological systems, this would also have the advantage of firmer theoretical underpinnings due to the groundbreaking work of Arora et al... On the downside, today's computing infrastructures are very inefficient when it comes to numerical calculation on non-uniform sparse data structures."

Another paper, Sparse Convolutional Neural Networks by Baoyuan Liu et al., states: "In this paper, we show how expressing the filtering steps in a convolutional neural network using sparse decomposition can dramatically cut down the cost of computation, while maintaining the accuracy of the system... In our Sparse Convolutional Neural Networks (SCNN) model, each sparse convolutional layer can be performed with a few convolution kernels followed by a sparse matrix multiplication."

Calit2 Director Larry Smarr thinks the
KnuEdge LambdaFabric can "help deliver on
the promise of machine learning." 

"KnuEdge built its LambdaFabric processor technology to help deliver on the promise of machine learning," said Larry Smarr, Director, Calit2. "Heterogeneous neural network algorithms are tailored to emulate the efficiency of specific neurobiological pathways that have evolved through natural history. However, this requires the ability to perform sparse matrix multiplication, and hardware optimized for sparse matrix multiplication has been largely unavailable. KnuEdge provides this optimized hardware, enabling analysis of the data as it's delivered from the real world -- allowing much faster computation and time-to-solution."  

Pattern Recognition Laboratory

In October 2015, at Mark Anderson's Future in Review conference, Calit2 Director Smarr announced the formation of a Pattern Recognition Laboratory (PRL), housed in Calit2's Qualcomm Institute. The PRL is dedicated to exploring acceleration of a wide range of machine learning algorithms on novel, non-von Neumann computer architectures. KnuEdge will provide its LambdaFabric technology this year to Calit2's PRL.

"The mission of our Pattern Recognition Lab is to find major increases in energy efficiency and speedups by optimizing machine learning algorithms on novel computing architectures," said Calit2's PRL Director and Professor Ken Kreutz-Delgado. "We believe this KnuEdge-sponsored contest and conference will accelerate this mission, and we look forward to participating."

Details on the competition, conference agenda, speakers and venue will be released in September 2016. To sign up for email notifications, please contact, with the subject line "HNN Conference 2016."

About Calit2 and UC San Diego
The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) was founded in 2000 as one of four Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation, with research buildings on both the UC San Diego and UC Irvine campuses. The Qualcomm Institute (QI) is the UC San Diego division of Calit2, housed in Atkinson Hall. Calit2's QI brings together more than 350 UC San Diego affiliated faculty members, nearly 120 technical and professional staff as well as hundreds of student workers, undergraduate scholars, graduate fellows, postdoctoral researchers, project and research scientists. The institute has also worked closely with more than 200 industry partners to date. The institute's strategic vision stresses collaborative, interdisciplinary research in four core areas to benefit society: culture, energy, the environment, and health. QI also provides advanced facilities to enable technologies in wireless communications, photonics, cyberinfrastructure, and nanotechnology-MEMS. In addition, the institute plays a leadership role in the development of new institutes and research centers for the UC San Diego campus, including in the fields of virtual reality, robotics and the brain to design, cyber-archaeology and healthy aging. QI:; Calit2:

About KnuEdge Inc. and its KNUPATH Division
KnuEdge™ Inc. is a neural technology innovation company that is transforming human-machine interaction. It is founded by Dan Goldin, the celebrated innovator and former NASA chief who spent the past five decades delivering aerospace and technology products way ahead of the curve. The company has separate divisions for voice biometrics and data center neural computing -- both of which are delivering industry-changing products in fast-growing, multibillion-dollar markets. KNUPATH™ is new neural computing processing technology, and it will reset the standard for chip/system-level compute performance in data centers and IoT devices. For more information, visit or @knuedge.

Media Contacts

Doug Ramsey, (858) 822-5825, or Marisa Graves for KnuEdge, (510) 984-3815,

Related Links

Larry Smarr
Qualcomm Institute