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Friday, July 21, 2017

Movidius puts AI on a USB stick

By Nick Flaherty

Low power computer vision chip designer Movidius, now part of Intel, has put its latest processor into a USB stick for $79 for developing artificial intelligence and machine learning applications.

The move is of course intended to drive chip sales from development systems to production, but marks a move to opening up the technology.

“The Myriad 2 VPU housed inside the Movidius Neural Compute Stick provides powerful, yet efficient performance – more than 100 gigaflops of performance within a 1W power envelope – to run real-time deep neural networks (DNN) directly from the device,” said Remi El-Ouazzane, vice president and general manager of Movidius. “This enables a wide range of AI applications to be deployed offline.”

Machine intelligence development starts by training an algorithm on large sets of sample data via modern machine learning techniques and and then running the algorithm in an end-application that needs to interpret real-world data. This second stage is referred to as “inference,” and performing inference at the edge – or natively inside the device – brings numerous benefits in terms of latency, power consumption and privacy

Developers can automatically convert a trained Caffe-based convolutional neural network (CNN) into an embedded neural network optimized to run on the onboard Movidius Myriad 2 VPU and tune the performance metrics for both industry-standard and custom-designed neural networks for each layer to optimise real-world performance at ultra-low power. Validation scripts allow developers to compare the accuracy of the optimized model on the device to the original PC-based model.
The Neural Compute Stick can also behave as a discrete neural network accelerator by adding dedicated deep learning inference capabilities to existing computing platforms for improved performance and power efficiency.

Movidius Neural Compute Stick is now available for purchase through select distributors for $79 at

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