Little by little, artificial intelligence is starting to steal the limelights. This technology has massive potential to change the online world as we know it. Intel might have just accelerated the transformative process by offering the power of offline AI development to consumers through Movidius. This product managed to cram large machine vision processors into a tiny USB stick.
Movidius Offers 100 Gigaflops of Performance for Offline AI Development
The existence of the Movidius Neural Compute Stick was announced through a prototype presentation last April. However, back then the product was called Fathom. In the meantime, lots of important changes happened. One of the most important events was Intel’s purchase of Movidius last September. With all the fuss a sale this big requires, the ambitious project was put on hold.
The USB stick looks ordinary yet at its hearth stands Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit or VPU for short. This technology needs just one single watt to work and 12 cores that enable vision algorithms such as facial recognition.
Movidius claims that it can render 100 gigaflops of performance and can easily support neural networks through its Caffe library. So far, it is unclear whether the Compute Stick is compatible with a TensorFlow framework from Google.
The main perceivable change the Movidius acquisition enabled is a considerable price reduction from $99 to $79. On top of that, the product used plastic instead of aluminum as it was planned beforehand. However, this small USB stick speaks to a limited pool of clients.
Intel’s New Product Speaks to a Limited Pool of Potential Clients
Most of targeted clients are artificial intelligence researchers. Once they plug in Movidius in their computers, they can get more local power in their new designs thanks to some offline AI development. On top of that, Intel announced that users could plug in several sticks at the same time to get extensive performance.
On the other hand, companies that are looking at big scale AI product manufacturing might not find any noticeable support in Movidius. There are other solutions on the market that accommodate such large needs better than Intel’s latest product.
Image source: Movidius