Intel launched the Movidius Neural Compute Stick, a USB-based "deep learning inference kit and self-contained AI accelerator," on Thursday, according to an Intel press release.
The goal of the device is to commoditize AI and make it easier for product developers, researchers, makers and hardware hobbyists to use the technology. Remi El-Ouazzane, vice president and general manager of Movidius , which is owned by Intel, said the device "provides more than 100 gigaflops of performance within a 1W power envelope – to run real-time deep neural networks directly from the device."
- Intel acquired Movidius, a company that specialized in low-power processor chips for computer vision and deep-learning, last year.
Intel is working hard to own the AI space and move away from its reliance on PCs and data centers.
The company has invested in 81 AI-related companies so far, the most of any of its competitors. But Intel also knows AI can be an overwhelming endeavor and many companies might not know where or how to start. The new product is therefore designed to help give companies an easy way to launch into AI projects.
Intel isn't alone. Apple, Google and Microsoft are also investing big, and the potential payoff is huge. AI market revenues are expected to grow 487% in less than five years, according to a recent IDC study.