For some time now Google has been working on TensorFlow Processing Units (TPUs), which are chips for accelerating applications in the area of machine learning. Now, under the name Edge TPU , the corporation has unveiled trimmed-down versions of these processors which are significantly smaller than a US penny. They are intended, above all, for use in industrial edge computing , primarily in IoT gateways. According to Google, interfaces of this sort in the Internet of Things can be found in factories, but also in locomotives and oil drilling towers, for example. The role of the Edge TPUs is mainly to evaluate and forward data from various sensors to the relevant IoT devices.
To give companies the opportunity to try out the new chips with their own applications, an evaluation board is to be made available from October. In addition, Google intends to launch a USB stick with Edge TPU for Linux, under the name “Edge TPU Accelerator”.
Google is working with numerous hardware and software manufacturers on the development of the TPU technology.