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AI Engine Series 1 – Starting out with the AI Engine tools

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Introduction to the AI Engine Series

Last July, in the article titled Versal ACAP AI Engines for Dummies I introduced the AI Engine (AIE) array which is present in some Versal™ ACAP devices. In this new series of articles, the AI Engine Series, we will provide some examples of how to use the AI Engine tools integrated into the Vitis 2020.2 unified software platform.

Requirements

This tutorial requires that you have the following:

  • A basic understanding of Xilinx tools
  • A basic knowledge of C/C++ programming languages
  • The Vitis 2020.2 unified software platform installed on a supported Linux OS
  • A valid license for the AI Engine tools (licenses are included in the VCK190 kit and are not sold separately)
  • The VCK190 base platform downloaded from Xilinx.com (link) or from GitHub (link)

Introduction

I like to view a Versal System as having 3 main domains. The AI Engine (AIE) domain, the Processing System (PS) domain and the Programmable Logic (PL) domain. To run an AIE application on Versal, it is most likely that you will need to use the 3 domains, all working together.

0.jpg

This article is focused on the programming of AIE domain using the Vitis™ unified software platform.

Tutorial : Introduction to the Xilinx tools

  1. Open the Vitis 2020.2 unified software platform IDE and select a workspace repository
  2. On the welcome page click on Create Application Project 1.jpgIf you do not see the welcome page click File > New > Application Project
  3. Click Next on the welcome page if it appears:
    2.jpg
  4. In the Platform selection page, select the xilinx_vck190_base_202020_1 platform and click Next.

    Note: if you do not see a platform named xilinx_vck190_base_202020_1 listed, make sure you have downloaded it from GitHub or Xilinx.com and add the repository using the Add button:
    3.png

We can see that the VCK190 base platform has 2 domains defined:

  • the aiengine domain targeting the AI Engine array
  • the xrt domain targeting the ARM cortex a72 (PS) running a Linux OS

4.JPG

  1. Click Next.
  2. Create a new application called simple_application and select ai_engine as the target processor. Click Next.

    5.jpg
  3. Click Next on the Domain page.
  4. On the Templates page select the Simple template and click Finish. 6.jpg Important: you will see a note in the description window that states “This templates works only for AIE simulation and SW(x86)”. The reason for this is that the template does not include any I/O to feed the AIE application or any PS application which will be required for a full system running in hardware.From the Explorer window we can see that multiple sets of files were imported:
    simple_application is our application running on the AI Engine
    simple_application/src is the directory containing the sources that will be compiled to run on the AI Engine array
    simple_application/src/kernels is the directory which contains the source code for the kernels
    simple_application/data is the directory containing the simulation files
  5. Open simple_application.prj under simple_application from the explorer window. In the window showing the details we can see that there is one file, project.cpp from the src folder, which is defined as a Top-Level file.

    8.jpg

    Note: It is a requirement to define the top level file for an AI Engine application. This file contains the instantiation of the top level graph (refer to Versal ACAP AI Engines for Dummies for the definition of a graph)

  6. Open the file project.cpp from the Explorer window. For a complete description of the syntax, refer to UG1076 – Versal ACAP AI Engine Programming Environment

    9.png

The include headers (Line 3 > Line 5) add the adf dataflow library (adf.h), the top-level graph declaration file (project.h) and the kernel functions prototypes (kernels.h). 

On Line 9, a graph from the class simpleGraph is instantiated along with an instance called mygraph.

On Line 10, the simulation platform is declared with 1 input port and 1 output port using a predefined class constructor – adf::simulation::platform<1,1>. It also specifies the input data file (data/input.txt) which contains values that are input to the dataflow graph, and the output file (data/output.txt) where the output will be stored after execution (in simulation only).

On Lines 11 and 12, the graph input and output are connected to the simulation platform.

Finally, on line 14 to 19, there is the main function in which the graph is initialized, run for 4 iterations, and then terminated.

Based on what we have seen we can draw the graph as a black box with its input and its output connected to the platform:

10.jpg

In the next entry in this series, we will have a closer look in the graph and the kernels.

Source: https://forums.xilinx.com/t5/Design-and-Debug-Techniques-Blog/AI-Engine-Series-1-Starting-out-with-the-AI-Engine-tools/ba-p/1184031

Blockchain

Consob Blocks 6 New Illegal FX Websites

The Italian regulator has blocked a total of 360 unauthorized Forex domains since July 2019.

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Consob, the government authority in Italy responsible for the regulation of the Italian securities market, announced today that it has shut down 6 new websites offering unauthorized financial services in the country.

According to the official announcement, the authority has ordered internet service providers to block the websites of Axedo, Fxfinancepro, Thinkmarket 247 Ltd, Donnybrook consulting, Globalinvestfx, and Universe citizens limited. The Italian regulator has the power to block illegal websites offering financial services under the Growth Decree (Law no. 58 of 28 June 2019).

Consob started blocking unauthorized websites in July 2019 and the recent initiative means that the total number of blocked websites has risen to 360. The authority mentioned that for technical reasons, the blockage may take several days to come into effect after the order.

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“The Authority availed itself of the powers deriving from the “Growth Decree” (Law no. 58 of 28 June 2019, Article no. 36), on the basis of which Consob can order Internet connectivity service providers to inhibit access from Italy to the websites through which financial services are offered without due authorization,” the official announcement states.

Financial Protection

Consob requested Italian investors to adopt the greatest diligence before making an investment decision. The authority also asked citizens to report fraudulent and unauthorized companies. “Consob draws investors’ attention to the importance of adopting the greatest diligence in order to make informed investment choices, adopting common sense behaviors, essential to safeguard their savings: these include, for websites that offer financial services, checking in advance that the operator with whom they are investing is authorized, and, for offers of financial products, that a prospectus has been published,” Consob mentioned.

Finance Magnates reported in December about the accelerated efforts of the Italian watchdog to block illegal domains operating in the country. The regulator has made it difficult for unauthorized operators to target Italian citizens. Before the recent block, Consob asked internet companies to block access to Investoomatic Limited, Kiqiwk Holdings Intl Limited, and ADV-Investment.

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Ripple partners Mobile Money for wallet-to-wallet payments between Malaysia and Bangladesh

TL;DR Breakdown Ripple has entered into a partnership with Malaysia’s Mobile Money. The UK and Japan financial authorities say XRP is not a security. San Francisco based crypto company, Ripple, has announced a new partnership with Mobile Money, a Malaysian based mobile financial services company. According to the announcement, the partnership is geared towards promoting […]

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • Ripple has entered into a partnership with Malaysia’s Mobile Money.
  • The UK and Japan financial authorities say XRP is not a security.

San Francisco based crypto company, Ripple, has announced a new partnership with Mobile Money, a Malaysian based mobile financial services company. According to the announcement, the partnership is geared towards promoting payments between wallets in Malaysia and Bangladesh while also serving as a remittance intermediary between the two Asian countries.

The firms would be connected via RippleNet. bKash currently provides the largest mobile financial services in Bangladesh. The firm serves more than 40 million users in the country.

The local banking partner in Bangladesh would be Mutual Trust Bank (MTB), and Bangladesh Bank would supervise it. The firm would act as the link between the two firms, Mobile Money and bKash.

The CEO of bKash, Kamal Quadir, hailed the partnership between both firms. According to him, foreign remittance would be further encouraged as it would bring lots of convenience to parties involved in each transaction.

In Asia, Bangladesh holds one of the highest remittance inflows in South Asia; it is also ranked eleventh globally. Malaysia also ranks as one of its top sources of remittance. So, this partnership is most likely going to help bolster the remittance rate between both countries.

The partnership is expected to help increase the Mobile Money user base in Bangladesh. The firm also believes it would enable them to serve those users better.

Ripple is recognized as a crypto token outside the United States.

In Japan, financial authorities have released a statement in which they said they do not classify Ripple’s native token, XRP, as security. This was made known via a report by The Block.

This also mirrors the authorities’ view in the United Kingdom, who say XRP and other crypto assets are classified as unregulated tokens, so they are not recognized to be e-money or security.

The view of these authorities serves as a defense for Ripple. The firm has vehemently denied any wrongdoings and has also vowed to stand up against the US financial regulator.

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Tether (USDT) January 15th Deadline on iFinex Case: Everything You Need to Know

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Many in the cryptocurrency field have recently discussed the upcoming January 15th date as an important consideration for the ongoing case between the office of the New York Attorney General (NYAG) and iFinex, the parent company of Bitfinex and Tether.

With this in mind, below is a comprehensive summary of what happened and what to expect on this date.

The NYAG v. iFinex Case: What Happened?

Back in April 2019, the office of the New York Attorney General alleged that the popular cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex lost $850 million and then used funds from its affiliated stablecoin operator Tether (the company that issues USDT) to cover the shortfall.

As CryptoPotato reported, later on, Tether issued a statement through a blog post which said that the allegations were written in “bad faith” and were also “riddled with false assertions.”

In May 2019, Judge Joel Cohen granted a partial stay on the NYAG office’s request for documents from the two companies until their hearing takes place on July 29th. During that hearing, the judge on the case, Joel Cohen, decided to extend the preliminary injunction as he was not ready to make a final decision on whether the case should go forward or be dismissed. Hence, he extended that injunction by 90 days.

In August, however, the NYAG presented new evidence on the case, alleging that apart from covering up the $850 million, Bitfinex and Tether had served New York customers for longer than they claimed. In part, the document stated:

The OAG has uncovered substantial ties between Respondents and New York concerning Respondents’ corporate operations; trading on the Bitfinex platform; the issuance, redemption, and trading of tethers; use of financial institutions to move money and process customer deposits and withdrawals; and representations to the market that might have been misleading.

Essentially, the NYAG also attacked Bitfinex’s LEO initial exchange offering, claiming that it “has every indicia of a securities issuance subject to the Martin Act, and there is reason to believe that the issuance is related to the matters under investigation,” meaning the alleged cover-up.

Additionally, the NYAG called iFinex’s motion to dismiss “an improper attempt to impede a lawful investigation.”

The Order to Turn in Documents

In September 2020, Judge Cohen ruled that Bitfinex and Tether must turn over documents detailing their financial relationship and history to the NYAG’s office. In addition to that, he also extended an injunction that barred Tether from loaning funds to Bitfinex by 90 more days.

However, on December 9th, 2020, Letitia James, the Attorney General, filed a document, asking Justice Cohen to extend the deadline to January 15th, 2021. James said that “the parties continue to cooperate on the production of documents in response to the 354 Order, and anticipate that the production could be finalized in the coming weeks.”

Why the January 15th Deadline is Important?

With this, we arrive at the time of this writing and the importance of the January 15th deadline. There are a few reasons for which this is a critical point in this case. First, it requires that iFinex produces the necessary information for the NYAG to continue its investigation and to further substantiate the merits of its claims.

And perhaps what’s even more important, however, is the nature of the documentation. In essence, iFinex has to produce materials on the process by which they determine whether, when, and how to issue and redeem tethers, banks, documents, and communications regarding specific issuances and redemptions, as well as trading activity on the Bitfinex trading platform regarding tethers and bitcoin.

This is a landmark case for the entire cryptocurrency space as USDT is the most popular and biggest stablecoin on the market. The company issuing it has been involved in many scandals in the past, with many questioning the fact that it’s actually backed by USD.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/tether-usdt-january-15th-deadline-on-ifinex-case-everything-you-need-to-know/

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