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Intel AI DevCon: Betting Big on Neural Compute Stick 2, And a Generous Dose of AI

On the sidelines of the Intel AI DevCon conference in Beijing, the tech giant has unveiled the Neural Compute Stick 2, also known as NCS 2. This device has been developed to help design smarter artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and would be most useful for developers working on smart home gadgets and what Intel classifies as other network edge devices. The Intel NCS 2 is powered by the latest generation Intel VPU, the Intel Movidius Myriad X. This is the first to feature a neural computing engine, which is a dedicated hardware neural network inference accelerator delivering additional performance.

The Intel NCS 2 runs on a standard USB 3.0 port and requires no additional hardware, enabling users to seamlessly convert and then deploy PC-trained models to a wide range of devices natively and without internet or cloud connectivity, Intel suggests while pitching the simplicity of the NCS 2 stick.

The edge devices are generally any specific pieces of hardware that enable the control of the flow of data between two different networks. Some examples of these include wireless routers, switches and network gateways, as well as a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets such as smart cameras, smart doorbells, drones with guidance cameras and more. Intel's NCS2 is essentially a fully-capable neural network, inside a form factor no larger than a regular USB drive. This would be useful in the development of smart gadgets and devices by offloading a lot of the required processing power for training the artificial intelligence algorithms for these devices, to its onboard Movidius Myriad X vision processing unit (VPU). 

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