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EU consortium invites design proposals for edge-AI technologies

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The project, which is receiving funding of over €150 million, is gearing up to design, evaluate, test and fabricate new circuits, potentially including integrated photonics technologies, from across Europe

The Partnership for Realization and Validation of AI hardware Leadership (PREVAIL) has announced that it is accepting design proposals to be prototyped in its network of facilities. Coordinated by the EU’s four leading research and technology organisations (RTOs), France’s CEA-Leti, Germany’s Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Belgium-headquartered imec, and Finland’s VTT, the PREVAIL project is a networked, multi-hub platform providing prototype chip fabrication capability in advanced artificial intelligence technology to EU stakeholders. In most cases, the technology offer will be based on commercial foundry processes, and advanced technology modules will be enhanced in the cleanrooms of the project partners.

“The PREVAIL project’s ultimate goal is to position Europe with an easy-access, advanced manufacturing infrastructure enabling users to make early research samples of innovative and trustworthy products and accelerate their commercialisation,” said Sergio Nicoletti, CEA-Leti business development manager and PREVAIL project manager. “And while bringing their cutting-edge technologies to a higher maturity level and giving users the possibility to fabricate and test AI prototypes based on these technologies, the RTOs are reaping the benefits of technological cross-fertilisation.”

“In addition to providing high-performance, low-power edge components and technologies to support the massive data-processing requirements of AI, the project will help energise the EU’s digital transformation, a precursor to the goals of the European Chips Act,” he added.

Launched at the end of 2022, the project is leveraging the RTOs’ advanced 300 mm fabrication, design and test facilities and related expertise to create the Testing and Experimentation Facility for Edge-AI Hardware (TEF Edge AI HW). This network will validate new high-performance, low-power, edge-AI components and support an infrastructure capable of fabricating early research prototype samples for testing in innovative edge-AI applications.

Nicoletti said the consortium is working with selected SMEs, the RTOs’ industrial partners, and academic labs to prepare early designs that will be used to test fabrication equipment in the RTOs’ facilities. The project plans to open access widely for EU designers by May 2026.

While 80 percent of the project’s budget targets equipment suited for design, testing and fabrication of edge-AI devices, the project also will reinforce the readiness of the RTOs to equip their new pilot lines for developing 3D integration technologies, which also are envisioned in the chips act.

Key Project Components

In addition to fabricating advanced edge-AI applications and creating the platform’s TEF Edge AI HW, the consortium will provide process design kits compatible with standard commercial CAD tools and all the elements necessary for full chip design. A user-interface team will manage relationships among the developers of next-generation, edge-AI solutions and the consortium.

PREVAIL is the EU’s first step to link the RTOs’ different infrastructures and synchronise and coordinate their investments to minimise duplication, and to jointly increase the technology readiness levels of tools in development. The nearly €156 million ($169.3 million) cost of the 42-month project will be shared by the RTOs’ countries and the European Commission. Approximately 80 percent of this funding is CAPEX invested in new tools suited for edge-AI devices.

EU consortium invites design proposals for edge-AI technologies
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