Deep learning on a USB stick for $79

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Intel is looking to bring the benefits of deep learning to a wider audience with the launch of the Movidius Neural Compute Stick. Said to be the first USB-based accelerator to bring deep neural network processing capabilities to a host devices at the edge, the Stick is being sold through RS Components and Mouser for $ 79.

According to Intel, the Neural Compute Stick – said to run at 100Gflops, yet consume only 1W – is intended to reduce the barriers to developing, tuning and deploying AI applications by delivering high-performance deep-neural network processing in a small form factor.

“The Myriad 2 VPU housed inside the Neural Compute Stick provides powerful, yet efficient performance … to run real-time deep neural networks directly from the device,” said Remi El-Ouazzane, general manager of Intel subsidiary Movidius. “This enables a wide range of AI applications to be deployed offline.”

The Neural Compute Stick is likely to have a range of applications. Amongst those suggested by Intel are in devices like robots and drones, performing scene-segmentation, object tracking and object recognition applications. Other potential applications include adding object recognition and improving computer vision algorithms.

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