Movidius Myriad 2 vision processing chip unveiled: promises a revolution in computational photography within a year


Computational photography is a fancy term that might not tell you much, but having SLR level of performance for camera features like zoom, low-light photography and auto-focus, should draw everyone’s attention. This is exactly the promise of a new special-purpose chip dedicated to imaging and cameras that is said to have taken years in research and $60 million in R&D costs: the Movidius Myriad 2.

Movidius unveiled the new Myriad 2, saying that it offers up to a 20x boost in performance over the first chip. What makes it unique is that it is dedicated to imaging, and like we have the CPU for overall processing, the GPU for graphics, this is a new kind of a processor for vision: the so called VPU. The Myriad 2 has been specifically made to be power-efficient, delivering "teraflops of performance in less than half a watt", and it will be manufactured using a 28-nanometer process, using 12 "vision-specific vector processors."

“We can safely say there is a computational revolution coming to your camera near you and it’s starting next year, and it’s going to be a fantastic year,” Movidius chief executive Remi El-Ouazzane said.

Smartphones are among the candidates to first benefit from this new chip, but Movidius sees use of the chip with augmented reality, 3D scanning, indoor positioning and object recognition, so it could be used in various other devices, and even robots.


Moreover, the Myriad 2 is so small that it is capable of running camera units the size of just a button, giving it plenty of uses as a wearable camera. Movidius has partnered with Google on Project Tango, and while it does not reveal whether this partnership will continue, it did confirm that it has over 20 partners and devices with the new chip will launch within the next year. The chip is sampling in August, and you can find out more details about it at the source link below.

source: Movidius

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17 Comments

1. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Bring it on.

2. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

The Note4.

3. aayupanday

Posts: 582; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

One M9.

4. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Sony Z3

5. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You obviously didn't read the article. You didn't even bother reading the title.

7. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Myriad 2 enables and enhances the following applications: Computational photography (rapid autofocus, HDR, extreme low light) 3D modeling & scanning Indoor navigation 360-degree panoramic video Visual analytics Immersive gaming, augmented reality Gesture recognition Always-on face and object detection Industrial vision It's compatible with mobile device Mark1 is available know

6. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

All the home-p0rn taken with mobile device will go into another level.

8. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

I thought the exact same thing when I brought home my HTC EVO 3D a few years ago.

9. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

I'd be embarrassed to admit that Nine1sickness. Lol

10. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

so this means this chip is only for photography stuff isn't it? though i imagine SoC maker like Qualcom/Samsung etc will want to make something like this integrated into their own SoC instead of relying on other people to do it so they can offer integrated solution on their own.

11. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

An external IC? They certainly don't know a thing about mobile industry.

12. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Are you referring to Apple's external Cirrus DAC? Or Apple's M7 chip? Many designs use separate chips for things, even common things like modems. Adding a separate chip for a higher end model to do computational photography might be a good move. Sure, some years down the road maybe this stuff gets tacked onto a GPU. But for new tech, an independent chip makes sense.

13. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

As if you knew something. Both the DAC and M7 don't have to deal with large chunks of data frequently. No one will ever use an external chip for handling the images while previewing.

14. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

"The adaptable computational imaging pipeline serves various camera configurations and supports a complete range of auto-functions. It can process still image and video at various configurations, including 13 Mpixel at 48 fps or 4K resolution at 60 fps." Sounds like it will work with a reasonable range of images and video. And the chip itself supports a wide range of interfaces, giving designers flexibility of how they can utilize its capabilities (including two trillion 16-bit operations per second of compute capacity within 500 mW of power envelope and 400GB/sec sustained on-chip memory bandwidth). Just because you don't comprehend how it would work doesn't mean "no one will ever use an external chip...".

15. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

You forgot "allegedly". Anyway, it's NOT about what the chip is capable of, but at what costs. 0.5w power consumption? Fine, they just didn't mention 1+w for the data transfer to the AP.

16. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

It's good to question the chip specs, but the chip is designed for low power environments. The floating point performance obviously would scale to wattage just as many chips do today. The point is that the chip is flexible. It gives designers many ways to use its capabilities. Let's see what the market comes up with instead of asserting "no one will ever use an external chip" which is obviously incorrect.

17. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

It might find its uses anywhere else but on smartphones due to the power consumption. And without going through a mass production via smartphones, it can't reach the critical mass that's required for being pricely competitive. It will be DoA. period.

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