Microsoft previews Azure Percept Edge AI development platform

Microsoft has recently announced the public preview of Azure Percept platform combining hardware and services to ease AI implementations at the edge through the use of Azure AI technologies and Azure cloud for device management, AI model development, and analytics.

The hardware currently available includes the Azure Percept DK (Development Kit) with an NXP i.MX 8M powered WiFi & Bluetooth gateway/carrier board, the Azure Percept Vision system on module (SoM), as well as the optional Azure Percept Audio SoM with a 4-mic array.

Microsoft Azure Percept development kit

Key features and specifications:

  • Azure Percept DK carrier board
    • SoC – NXP iMX 8M quad-core Cortex-A53 processor
    • System Memory – 4GB RAM
    • Storage – 16GB flash
    • Connectivity – Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity via Realtek
    • USB – 2x USB-A 3.0 port, 1x USB-C port
    • Security – Nuvoton NCPT750 Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
    • Power Supply – 19V/3.4A
  • Systems-on-Module
    • Azure Percept Vision SoM based on Intel Movidius Myriad X (MA2085) vision processing unit (VPU) and an 8MP RGB camera sensor, plus support for an extra camera; 0.7 TOPS AI performance
    • Azure Percept Audio SoM  with 4x MEMS microphones (MSM261D3526Z1CM), 2x buttons, a USB hub, DAC, 3x LEDs
    • Both modules also come with STM32L462CE MCU acting as a “security crypto-controller”

The hardware is made by ASUS. More detailed hardware specifications can be found on Microsoft website.

Azure Percept StudioAzure Percept DK is integrated with Microsoft Azure AI and IoT edge services, and comes with a library of pre-built AI models for vision capabilities including object detection, shelf analytics, vehicle analytics, and audio capabilities like voice control and anomaly detection.

Custom AI models can be trained with no code and deployed either locally or in the cloud using Azure Percept Studio that integrates various services from Microsoft namely Azure IoT Hub, Azure IoT Edge, Device Update, Device Provisioning Service, Azure AI, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Live Video Analytics, Azure, and other Azure services. Check out the documentation for more details about software and services support.

You’ll need an Azure subscription to work with the Azure Percept development kit, and the preview hardware can be purchased for $349 (carrier board + vision SoM), and the optional audio SoM adds $79.


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