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Intel's Movidius launches AI accelerator on a $79 USB stick

The Movidius Neural Compute Stick compiles, tunes and accelerates neural networks at the edge.
stephanie-condon
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer on
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Intel

Movidius, an Intel company, has launched a new product that enables developers and researchers to deploy deep learning applications from a $79 USB stick.

The Movidius Neural Compute Stick is the world's first self-contained AI accelerator in a USB format, Intel says. Movidius unveiled a model of it last year called Fathom, a few months before Intel acquired the company.

The Neural Compute Stick compiles, tunes and accelerates neural networks at the edge. No cloud connectivity is needed for its on-board processing, and it offers more than 100 gigaflops of performance within a 1W power envelope.

What makes it unique is the ability to behave as a discrete neural network accelerator by adding dedicated deep learning inference capabilities to existing computing platforms.

Movidius suggests it could be used for research and prototyping with end devices like robots or drones. For instance, a researcher could add object recognition capabilities to a smart vacuum cleaner.

Intel is selling the device this weekend for $79 at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) conference in Honolulu.

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