Chinese search engine Baidu is trying to speed the performance of its deep learning models for image search using field programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs, made by Altera. Baidu has been experimenting with FPGAs for a while (including with Altera rival Xilinx’s gear) as a means of boosting performance on its convolutional neural networks without having to go whole hog down the GPU route. FPGAs are likely most applicable in production data centers where they can be paired with existing CPUs to serve queries, while GPUs can still power much behind-the-scenes training of deep learning models.
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