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Microsoft partners with Qualcomm to offer Vision AI developer kit

Microsoft partners with Qualcomm to offer Vision AI developer kit
Photo Credit: Reuters

IT solutions provider Microsoft on Wednesday said it was partnering with chipset-maker Qualcomm to offer a Vision AI developer kit to accelerate machine learning and cognition around visual technologies in edge devices.

Edge devices, often part of a larger solution, come with processors powerful enough to perform computing or cognition tasks at the device level. This cuts down on latency and dependency on the network. One example is autonomous driving cars.

As part of the kit, the companies are offering a camera that uses Qualcomm's Vision Intelligence 300 platform and the software needed to deploy or implement edge solutions using Azure IoT Edge and Azure machine learning. Azure is Microsoft's range of cloud and compute services.

"It supports an end-to-end Azure enabled solution with real-time image processing locally on the edge device, and model training and management on Azure. Using the Vision AI developer kit, you can deploy vision models at the intelligent edge in minutes, regardless of your current machine learning skill level," Microsoft said in a blog post.

Microsoft is also offering Custom Vision, a service that allows users or developers to build their own computer vision model. 

"It provides a user-friendly interface that walks you through the process for uploading your data, training, and deploying customer vision models including image tagging. The vision AI developer kit integration with custom vision includes the ability to use Azure IoT hub to deploy your custom vision model directly to the developer kit," Anne Yang, principal program manager, wrote in the blog post.

These custom models can be accelerated using the camera’s Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (SNPE), which enables image classification to run quickly even when offline. 

The company said the machine learning integration service makes it easy for data scientists to quickly and easily make and deploy models. Developers can take advantage of the “visual studio code” to manage all their codes and access all Azure services via a single development environment.

The kit, which was made by Microsoft partner eInfochips, will be sold and distributed by Arrow Electronics, the company said.

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