Neural Computing on a stick: deep learning hardware becomes affordable

February 13, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Neural Computing on a stick: deep learning hardware becomes affordable
The Neural Compute Stick 2 (NCS2), the latest incarnation of Intel’s USB-stick with Artificial Intelligence hardware inside, makes working with Artificial Intelligence affordable. Target environments are embedded IoT applications. This compact, fanless computer-vision and deep-neural-network (DNN) accelerator is now shipping through RS Components (RS), the trading brand of tech company Electrocomponents plc.

As well as for use by data scientists and academics, the device is said to be ideal for a wide selection of developers and engineers looking at integrating computer-vision and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities into their Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Available in the convenient USB form factor, the stick is enabling deep-learning prototyping on a laptop or any other computing device with a USB interface.

Like its predecessor– the Intel Movidius Neural Compute Stick launched in 2017 – the NCS 2 is based on the Intel Movidius Vision Processing Unit (VPU). However, it deploys the latest version: the Intel Movidius Myriad X VPU which has a dedicated hardware accelerator for DNN inference.

The NCS 2 also becomes a highly versatile prototyping and development tool when combined with the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit, which offers support for deep learning, computer vision and hardware acceleration to enable applications that have human-like vision capabilities. The combination of the NCS 2 and the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit enables a fast development-to-deployment cycle: from prototyping trained DNNs on the compute stick to the easy porting of DNNs to an Movidius VPU-based embedded device or system with minimal code changes required, if any. The NCS 2 also provides support for the popular open-source Caffe and TensorFlow DNN software libraries.

The Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 is shipping now from RS Components in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.

More information: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/.

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