CWI involved in new consortium on energy-efficient AI

A total of 9 projects will receive 9 million euros by NWO.

Publication date
30 Jan 2024

Sander Bohte
Sander Bohte

NWO, the Dutch Research Council, is providing funding for a research project focused on energy-efficient AI. The funding will be used to develop more energy-efficient AI processors. A total of nine projects will receive a total of more than nine million euros from NWO. Consortium partners are contributing nearly another one and a half million euros in co-funding. 

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is leading the research on improving and making more energy efficient Edge AI processors. AI calculations can be performed at a central location (think of the cloud) or a private data center, but also near the sensor from which the data is produced. By collecting and processing data locally, decisions and actions can be made faster and there is less chance of data leakage. However, processors must become at least 100 times more energy efficient to enable a wide range of intelligent Edge-applications, that is why innovation at all levels of design is required. NWO, Delft University of Technology and the University of Groningen are also involved in the research; co-funders are Innatera Nanosystems B.V. and the IMEC Foundation. Researchers from CWI will focus on developing learning algorithms that are robust to changes and variability in the chips when operating out in the field. 

From CWI's side Sander Bohte of the Machine Learning group will be involved in the project. Bohte extensively works on energy efficient AI inspired by the brain, in particular spiking neural networks. Together with Bojian Yin (CWI) and Federrico Conradi (IMEC), they have already developed algorithms for so-called AI-specific neuromorphic chips that can for example recognise speech, gestures and electrocardiograms (ECGs) up to a thousand more efficiently than traditional AI techniques.

Open Technology Program

A total of nine projects will receive a total of more than nine million euros from NWO. Consortium partners are also contributing nearly one and a half million euros in co-funding. The grants are part of the Open Technology Program, through which NWO supports interdisciplinary scientific research and collaboration between scientists and companies and other organizations.