Intel brings AI to PCs with $79 Movidius Neural Compute Stick

By : |July 25, 2017 0

Intel has launched the Movidius Neural Compute Stick, a one-of its-kind a tiny fanless USB-based deep learning device that can be used to learn AI programming at the edge.

The device, geared for researchers and developers enables rapid prototyping, validation and deployment of Deep Neural Network (DNN) inference applications at the edge. The deep learning inference kit and self-contained artificial intelligence (AI) accelerator delivers dedicated deep neural network processing capabilities to a wide range of host devices.

Movidius was acquired by Intel in September last year and the company took over its Fathom Neural Compute Stick project. The compute stick features a Movidius visual processing unit (VPU) and can connect to devices via a USB 3.0 Type-A connector.

Its low-power VPU architecture enables an entirely new segment of AI applications that aren’t reliant on a connection to the cloud. The device is said to be capable of 100 billion mathematical calculations per second while consuming a paltry 1 watt of power.

“Designed for product developers, researchers and makers, the Movidius Neural Compute Stick aims to reduce barriers to developing, tuning and deploying AI applications by delivering dedicated high-performance deep-neural network processing in a small form factor,” Intel said in a statement.

Movidius Neural Compute Stick can be used in a variety of research and prototyping instances—in end devices like robots and drones—such as scene-segmentation, object tracking or object recognition applications, for example:

1. Adding object recognition to vehicle backup cameras or smart vacuum cleaners
2. Retrofitting camera routing boxes with advanced video analytics
3. Improving computer vision algorithms in commercial drones for tasks such as inventory inspection and stockpile quantification

Intel’s latest product also comes with a new “Multi-Stick mode” that allows multiple sticks in one host to work in conjunction in offloading work from the CPU. For multiple stick configurations, Movidius claims that they have confirmed linear performance increases up to 4 sticks in lab tests, and are currently validating 6 and 8 stick configurations.

Movidius Neural Compute Stick is now available for purchase at a price of $79.

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