Deep Learning Stick Makes Any USB Device Smarter


Movidius launched a Neural Network Stick in the form of a standard USB stick which can bring advanced computer vision capabilities to any device with a USB port (computer, camera, GoPro, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, etc), helping them become smarter. The Fathom Neural Compute Stick can help in the development of drones, robotics, security, and virtual and augmented reality.

With this neural network stick, developers don’t need to prototype new products to add machine learning features. Advanced image processing tasks (e.g. facial recognition) are often limited to cloud-based apps, which rely on powerful servers to process and identify images. A device with the Fathom plugged into it can perform these tasks locally and in real time. For instance, drones and robots can react intelligently and quickly based on the Fanthom which can see with its camera or computer vision.

Thanks to the ultra-low power Myriad 2 VPU (vision processor) contained in the neural network stick, the solution does not require an external power supply, and is claimed to run fully-trained neural networks at under 1 Watt of power. Fathom supports the major deep learning frameworks in use today, including Caffe and TensorFlow, Movidious said.


“The Fathom Neural Compute Stick is claimed to be the world’s first deep learning acceleration module. When used with Fathom deep learning software framework, it will allow powerful neural networks to be moved out of the cloud, where they are usually deployed – and deployed in end-user devices containing a Myriad 2 vision processor unit (VPU) such as smartphones”, said Movidious in the statement.

“Deep learning has tremendous potential — it’s exciting to see this kind of intelligence working directly in the low-power mobile environment of consumer devices .With TensorFlow supported from the outset, Fathom goes a long way towards helping tune and run these complex neural networks inside devices”, says Pete Warden, lead for Google’s TensorFlow mobile team.

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Comments Movidius CEO, Remi El-Ouazzane: “It’s going to mean that very soon, consumers are going to be introduced to surprisingly smart applications and products. It means the same level of surprise and delight we saw at the beginning of the smartphone revolution; we’re going to see again with the machine intelligence revolution. With more than 1 million units of Myriad 2 already ordered, we want to make our VPU the de-facto standard when it comes to embedded deep neural network.”

Fathom plans to showcase the product for the first time at the Embedded Vision Summit in Santa Clara, California on May 2-4. Fathom and the Myriad 2 family of processors are available today to qualified customers.

For further details, view the full Press release.



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