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LF AI Welcomes ONNX, Ecosystem for Interoperable AI Models, as Graduate Project

By November 14, 2019No Comments

Active contributors to ONNX code base include over 30 blue chip companies in AI including Amazon, Facebook, Intel®, Microsoft, NVIDIA

San Francisco – November 14, 2019 – The LF AI Foundation, the organization building an ecosystem to sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL), is announcing today the Open Neural Network eXchange (ONNX) is its newest graduate level project. Moving ONNX under the umbrella of LF AI governance and management is viewed as a key milestone in establishing ONNX as a vendor-neutral open format standard. 

ONNX is an open format used to represent machine learning and deep learning models. An ecosystem of products supporting ONNX provides AI capabilities like model creation and export, visualization, optimization, and acceleration capabilities. Among its many advantages, ONNX provides portability, allowing AI developers to more easily move AI models between tools that are part of trusted AI/ML/DL workflows. 

“We are pleased to welcome ONNX to the LF AI Foundation. We see ONNX as a key project in the continued growth of open source AI,” said Mazin Gilbert, Chair of the LF AI Foundation Governing Board. “We are committed to expanding open source AI, and supporting trust, transparent and accessible community development.”

“ONNX is not just a spec that companies endorse, it’s already being actively implemented in their products. This is because ONNX is an open format and is committed to developing and supporting a wide choice of frameworks and platforms. Joining the LF AI shows a determination to continue on this path, and will help accelerate technical development and connections with the wider open source AI community around the world,” said Dr. Ibrahim Haddad, Executive Director of the LF AI Foundation. “We’re happy to provide ONNX an independent home and work with the community to boost its profile as a vendor neutral standard. ONNX will retain its existing OSI-approved open source license, its governance structure and their established development practices. We are committed to providing ONNX with a host of supporting services especially in the area of marketing and community events to extend its reach and adoption.”

The ONNX community was established in 2017 by Facebook and Microsoft to create an open ecosystem for interchangeable models. Support for ONNX has grown to over 30 registered companies, plus many more end user companies, around the world. ONNX is a mature project with 138 contributors, over 7K stars and over 1K forks. 

“Huawei welcomes the ONNX project joining LF AI. As one of the initial premier members of the LF AI Foundation as well as an early member of the ONNX community, Huawei has been fully supportive throughout the entire process,” said XiaoLi Jiang, GM of Open Source Ecosystem in Huawei, “ONNX as model exchange format standard is a great addition for interoperability which enables broader collaboration for LF AI. Huawei will continue to increase our open source investments and collaborate with the open source community to advance the application and the development in Artificial Intelligence.”

“IBM is delighted to see the ONNX community joining the Linux Foundation as it will encourage accelerated development in the space. ONNX allows the transfer of models between deep learning frameworks and simplifies the deployment of trained models to inference servers in hybrid cloud environments via Watson Machine Learning. In addition, provides a standardized format to run models on both Watson Machine Learning Accelerator and IBM Z that benefit from IBM Power, enabling clients to infuse deep learning insights into transactions as they occur,” said Steven Eliuk, IBM Vice President, Deep Learning & Governance Automation, IBM Global Chief Data Office.

“Intel is committed to support ONNX in our software products such as nGraph, Intel® Distribution of the OpenVINO™ Toolkit, and PLAIDML to provide acceleration on existing Intel hardware platforms and upcoming deep learning ASICs,” said Dr. Harry Kim, Head of AI Software Product Management.  “Developers from Intel have already contributed to defining quantization specs and large model support for ONNX, and we expect even more contributions to the project as ONNX joins the Linux Foundation.”

“We’re thrilled that the Linux Foundation has selected ONNX to expand open source AI capabilities for developers,” said Eric Boyd, corporate vice president, AI Platform, Microsoft Corp. “Microsoft has been deeply committed to open source and continues to invest in tools and platforms that empower developers to be more productive. We use ONNX across our product portfolio – such as Azure AI – to deliver improved experiences to consumers and developers alike.”

“NVIDIA GPUs and TensorRT offer a programmable, high-performance platform for inference. The ONNX open format complements these and benefits from wide adoption within the AI ecosystem,” said Rob Ober, chief platform architect for Data Center Products at NVIDIA. “As an active contributor to ONNX, we’re glad to see the project join the Linux Foundation and look forward to industry-wide collaboration and innovation.”

For more information on getting involved immediately with ONNX, please see the following resources:

ONNX GitHub:
Main Site:

Companies that have already implemented ONNX in products include Alibaba, AMD, Apple, ARM, AWS, Baidu, BITMAIN, CEVA, Facebook, Graphcore, Habana, HP, Huawei, IBM, Idein, Intel, Mathworks, Mediatek, Microsoft, NVIDIA, NXP, Oath, Preferred Networks, Qualcomm, SAS, Skymizer, Synopsys, Tencent, Xiaomi, Unity.

LF AI Resources

About LF AI Foundation

The LF AI Foundation, a Linux Foundation project, accelerates and sustains the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) open source projects. Backed by many of the world’s largest technology leaders, LF AI is a neutral space for harmonization and ecosystem engagement to advance AI, ML and DL innovation. To get involved with the LF AI Foundation, please visit

About Linux Foundation 

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation projects like Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js and more are considered critical to the development of the world’s most important infrastructure. Its development methodology leverages established best practices and addresses the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at

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