Intel unveils Neural Compute Stick 2 for AI developers

Intel NCS2

At Intel AI DevCon Beijing, Intel today unveiled Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 (Intel NCS 2) designed to build smarter AI algorithms and for prototyping computer vision at the network edge.

The second generation Intel Neural Compute Stick enables deep neural network testing, tuning and prototyping, so developers can go from prototyping into production leveraging a range of Intel vision accelerator form factors in real-world applications, Intel said.

The device runs on a standard USB 3.0 port, so no additional hardware is required.  Users can deploy PC-trained models to a wide range of devices natively and without internet or cloud connectivity.

For developers working on a smart camera, a drone, an industrial robot or the next must-have smart home device, the Intel NCS 2 offers a smarter and faster way to build prototypes, Intel added.

Intel NCS 2 is based on Intel Movidius Myriad X vision processing unit (VPU) and supported by the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit.

Intel NCS 2 is the first to feature a neural compute engine – a dedicated hardware neural network inference accelerator delivering additional performance. It also allows developers to port their Intel NCS 2 prototypes to other form factors and productize their designs.

The first-generation Intel NCS, launched in July 2017, has fueled a community of tens of thousands of developers, has been featured in more than 700 developer videos and has been utilized in dozens of research papers, Intel said.

“The first-generation Intel Neural Compute Stick sparked an entire community of AI developers into action with a form factor and price that didn’t exist before. We’re excited to see what the community creates next with the strong enhancement to compute power enabled with the new Intel Neural Compute Stick 2,” said Naveen Rao, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the AI Products Group.

At Intel AI DevCon, Intel is also showcasing the following:

Cascade Lake, a future Intel Xeon Scalable processor that will introduce Intel Optane DC persistent memory and a set of new AI features called Intel DL Boost.

Intel’s Vision Accelerator Design Products targeted at AI inference and analytics performance on edge devices.

Spring Crest, the Intel Nervana Neural Network Processor (NNP), which will be available in the market in 2019.

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