As described in AI Engine Kernel Coding Best Practices Guide (UG1079) an AI Engine kernel is a C/C++ program that is written using the AI Engine API and specialized intrinsic functions that target the VLIW scalar and vector processors of Versal® AI Core devices, delivering over 100x compute performance than current server-class of CPUs.
The AI Engine kernel code is
compiled using the AI Engine compiler (
aiecompiler) that is included in the Vitis core development kit. The AI Engine compiler produces ELF files that are run on
the AI Engine processors. Multiple AI Engine kernels are combined in an adaptive data flow
(ADF) graph that consists of nodes and edges where nodes represent compute kernel
functions, and edges represent data connections. The ADF graph is a Kahn process network
(KPN) with kernels operating in parallel on data streams. The ADF graph interacts with
the C++ and RTL kernels of the Vitis application
acceleration flow, global memory, and the host application described here.