FPGAs to improve face recognition technology

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A face recognition engine from NEC called NeoFace is said to rapidly and accurately identify people, even when they are moving and in a crowd. The company claims the engine could help detect and prevent possible incidents at critical facilities and public venues.

To create the NeoFace Accelerator, the engine software IP was integrated into an Intel Arria 10 FPGA, which was used to operate on Xeon processor–based servers.

According to the company, this helped the solution achieve higher performance in facial recognition than the previous solution to a level where an individual could be identified smoothly from a high resolution image with dozens of faces.

“Facial recognition in a moving crowd requires highly advanced techniques when compared to still images because these cameras are affected by many factors: camera location, image quality and lighting, along with the subject’s size, walking speed and face direction,” said Tadashige Kadoi, general manager of IoT Platform Development Division at NEC.

“Intel FPGAs and their parallel processing capability help NEC to enable fast and accurate collection and processing of images from even 4K high resolution remote cameras.”

The face recognition technology achieved a matching accuracy of 99.2% when tested to recognise people as they walked through an area one at a time without stopping or looking at the camera.

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