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Intel’s Myriad X chip will give drones and robots better vision

The processor's neural compute engine boasts powerful deep learning tech.
Saqib Shah, @eightiethmnt
August 29, 2017
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It's been almost a year since Intel scooped up AI and computer vision chip-maker Movidius. By the time of its takeover, the company had already crammed its Myriad 2 processor into drones, cameras, and USB sticks -- making it a good fit for Intel's beyond-the-PC strategy. The newly-unveiled successor to that chip will continue in the same vein. Only, this next-gen beast is the first to pack a "Neural Compute Engine." What that essentially means is that it has some pretty powerful deep learning capabilities. If Intel gets its way, the Myriad X chip will help drones, smart cameras, and robots to learn from and interact with their surroundings in real-time.

Just as impressive is the processor's design. The Myriad X looks about the size of a small coin, meaning placing it on the most compact of devices shouldn't be too hard. In terms of power, it can deliver over 4 trillion operations per second (TOPS), that's substantially more than the 1 to 1.5 TOPS offered by its predecessor. It also boasts ten times higher performance for tasks that require multiple neural networks running simultaneously, claims Intel.

"With this faster, more pervasive intelligence embedded directly into devices, the potential to make our world safer, more productive and more personal is limitless," said Intel VP Remi El-Ouazzane.

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