$69.99 Gyrfalcon 2803 Plai Plug Delivers 24 TOPS per Watt

Last year we covered an alternative to Intel Movidius Neural Compute Stick with Orange Pi AI Stick 2801 powered by Gyrfalcon Lightspeeur 2801S neural processor, and delivering up to 5.6 TOPS, or 2.8TOPS @ 300mW for $69.  Since then Gyrfalcon introduced Lightspeeur 2803(S) AI accelerator delivering up to 24 TOPS, or 16.8 TOPS @ 700 mW.

We’ve recently seen the new neural processor will be integrated into SolidRun  i.MX 8M Mini & Nano systems-on-module, and today the company published a press release to announce their latest 2803 Plai Plug providing an upgrade to their existing 2801 Plai Plug (Orange Pi AI Stick 2801) for about the same $69.99 price tag.

2803 Plai PlugGyrfalcon 2803 Plai Plug preliminary specifications:

  • AI Accelerator – Gyrfalcon Lightspeeur 2803S with 2-dimensional Matrix Processing Engine (MPE) and AI Processing in Memory (APiM)
  • Storage – eMMC flash
  • Host interface – USB 3.0 port
  • Power Consumption – 700mW at 16.8 TOPS (24 TOPS per watt)
  • Dimensions – 66.5 x 20.5 x 10.8 mm (TBC)

The company provides an SDK with support for TensorFlow and Caffe frameworks, as well as ResNet, MobileNet and VGG CNN Networks. Just like other USB Neural compute sticks 2803 Plai Plug needs to be inserted into a computer or board like Raspberry Pi hosting the SDK, and the inference is then done at low power on the USB stick itself.

The video below shows the performance of Lightspeeur 2803 using MobileNet at over 100 fps on 448×448 images.

Beside image recognition as showcased above, other targeted applications for Lightspeeur 2803 include object detection and tracking, natural language processing, natural language understanding, business intelligence, facial recognition and visual analysis for consumer electronics, smart home & office, smart city, industrial, enterprise and data center solutions.

That looks all good, and you can buy the new 2803 Plai Plug for $69.99, or the previous generation 2801 Plai Plug for $49.99. But it’s not as simple as it first looks, as you need to register to become an GTI developer portal member first providing details about your projects including expected number of deployments before being able to purchase one, and access documentation & the SDK.  Approval is subject to manual review, so if you just want one for evaluation without specific project in mind, your application may  be rejected.

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NDA required even for just the Lightspeeur stick user manual let alone the SDK and chip datasheets. Compare that to nVIDIA who have a fullly open source accelerator IP available (NVDLA). Not impressed by the Lightspeeur.