US: Intel today unveiled “AI: In Production,” a new program that makes it easier for developers to bring their artificial intelligence prototypes to market. Since its introduction last July, the Intel Movidius Neural Compute Stick (NCS) has gained a developer base in the tens of thousands.
Once developers have a prototype, the next step is to take it into production, which can be challenging and costly for small companies and entrepreneurs. To make it easier, Intel selected AAEON Technologies, a leading manufacturer of advanced industrial and embedded computing platforms, as the first Intel AI: In Production partner. Through the program, AAEON provides two streamlined production paths for developers integrating the low-power Intel Movidius Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit (VPU) into their product designs.
The first option is the new AI Core from AAEON’s UP Bridge the Gap. It is a mini-PCIe module that features a Myriad 2 VPU designed to work with a wide range of x86 host platforms. The AI Core delivers the low-power, high-performance capabilities of the Intel Movidius Myriad 2 VPU deep neural networks accelerator. It is also compatible with the Neural Compute SDK software suite already used by thousands of machine learning developers and companies worldwide.
For companies requiring further customization, AAEON offers development and board manufacturing services that will allow companies to move from Neural Compute Stick-based prototypes to custom boards in a streamlined manner.
“Intel AI: In Production means we can expect many more innovative AI-centric products coming to market from the diverse and growing segment of technologies utilizing Intel technology for low-power inference at the edge,” said Remi El-Ouazzane, Intel vice president and general manager of Movidius.
“Intel Movidius Myriad 2 technology makes AI Core one of the most powerful and versatile AI hardware accelerators for edge computing,” said Fabrizio Del Maffeo, AAEON vice president, managing director of AAEON Technology Europe and founder of UP Bridge the Gap. “AI Core bridges the gap between the lab and volume production, allowing the innovators who adopted the Intel Neural Compute Stick to roll out a field deployment.”
Intel customers already are building products through the Intel AI: In Production program. The first is by CONEX*, a Diam International company and global leader in the design and creation of point-of-sale display systems for the cosmetics industry.
“Our innovation team started prototyping advanced retail deep learning algorithms and tested the Intel Neural Compute Stick,” said Nicolas Lorin, president of CONEX. “Now through the Intel AI: In Production program, CONEX will be able to rapidly go from our validated prototypes to actual end products. Thanks to this new path to production, we will be deploying an AI-enhanced, point-of-sale retail device to some of the largest cosmetic goods retailers as soon as this spring.”