Software Simplicity: The Solution to Vision at the Edge

JEFFREY S. MCVEIGH, INTEL

Deploying vision capabilities on edge platforms requires difficult tradeoffs between latency, throughput, memory footprint, communication bandwidth, power, and cost. Luckily, there’s an ever-growing diversity of hardware choices to allow system designers to select the best option that meets their needs. Historically, hardware diversity also implied time-consuming software development to port vision applications and algorithms to a new hardware target and optimize for real-time constraints. Intel® is working with the industry to solve the puzzle of hardware diversity for traditional and deep learning-based vision at the edge.

The Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ toolkit (which stands for Open Visual Inference and Neural Network Optimization) enables developers to streamline the deployment of deep learning inference and high-performance computer vision applications across a wide range of vertical uses cases at the edge. The toolkit is compatible with popular open source deep learning frameworks, and enables developers to easily target execution on CPUs and accelerators (GPUs, FPGAs, VPUs, and so on) specially designed for AI inference, such as Intel® Vision Accelerator Design Products. The beauty of the toolkit is that it provides a unified and common abstraction layer for AI inference across diverse hardware targets, with a comprehensive and intuitive API that merges simplicity with optimized performance. Software simplicity and performance – just what the developer ordered!

The toolkit has been used by numerous industry-leading companies and innovators to deploy AI and commercial vision solutions across numerous segments, including healthcare, surveillance, smart cities, retail, robotics, and web services (check out a few case studies here). For example, developers have used the toolkit to build applications that automatically track movement of vehicles and pedestrians, detect manufacturing anomalies, aid doctors in medical diagnoses, monitor the awareness state of machine operators, and analyze the reaction of customers at retail product placements.

Intel® System Studio, an all-in-one cross-platform tool suite, helps developers accelerate system bring-up, boost system and application performance, improve power efficiency, and enhance reliability. It consists of a high-performance compiler and a rich set of libraries, debuggers, and analyzers that complement the AI inference and vision capabilities of the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit.

Both the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit and Intel System Studio are pre-installed on the IEI Tank* AIoT Developer Kit to provide developers a quick path for AI development. Along with the software tools, the hardware kit contains a powerful Intel® Core™ processor with integrated HD graphics, ruggedized chassis, rich set of I/O ports, drivers, and sample code. The developer kit can be used for both prototyping and deployments.

Figure 1. IEI's Tank* AIoT Developer Kit comes pre-installed with the Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit and Intel® System Studio. (Source: IEI Technology Corp.)

These solutions can be mixed and matched with other Intel technologies, tools, or external systems to develop situation-specific software to improve the performance of time-critical tasks in wireless communication, develop security and surveillance solutions, and scale high-quality and low-cost video conferencing.

As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Visit Intel at Embedded World 2019 to experience the renaissance of software simplicity and how it can help speed your development of vision at the edge.

Intersecting AI, Vision & Workload Consolidation at the Edge

Experience advanced technologies putting data to work from edge to cloud. Deliver high-performance AI with broad connectivity and security. Connect with Intel at Embedded World on Feb. 26-28 in Nuremberg, Germany. See live, eye-catching demos that detect cancer cells in unseen images, manufacturing defects in objects on a conveyer belt, and many more — built using integrated hardware/software solutions that make a developer’s job much easier.

Visit Intel booth Hall 1-338| Attend an Intel-led tech session

More Resources 

To read part two of this three-part series that describes the journey towards designing an AI-based system, read "The Journey from Prototype to Production for AI at the Edge."

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