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Orange Pi AI Stick Lite packs 5.6 TOPS Gryfalcon GPU

Oct 24, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 1613 views

Shenzhen Xunlong Software’s $19.90 “Orange Pi AI Stick Lite” USB stick features a GTI Lightspeeur SPR2801S NPU at up to 5.6 TOPS @ 100MHz. It’s supported with free, Linux-based AI model transformation tools.

Shenzhen Xunlong Software’s Orange Pi project has released an AI accelerator with a USB stick form factor equipped with Gyrfalcon Technology, Inc.’s Lightspeeur SPR2801S CNN accelerator chip. The Orange Pi AI Stick Lite is designed to accelerate AI inferencing using Caffe and PyTorch frameworks, with TensorFlow support coming soon. It’s optimized for use with Allwinner based Orange Pi SBCs, but the SDK appears to be adaptable to any Linux-driven x86 or Arm-based computer with a USB port.



Orange Pi AI Stick Lite
(click images to enlarge)

The Orange Pi AI Stick Lite is a relaunch of an almost identical Orange Pi AI Stick 2801 that was announced in Nov. 2018, according to a CNXSoft post. The previous model cost $69 and required purchasing GTI’s PLAI (People Learning Artificial Intelligence) model transformation tools for $149 to do anything more than run a demo. The new device is not only much cheaper at $19.90, but the PLAI training tools are now free. There’s no download button, however — you must contact the company to get the download link.

GTI’s up to 9.3 TOPS per Watt Lightspeeur SPR2801S is a lower-end sibling to the up to 24-TOPS/W Lightspeeur 2803S NPU, which is built into SolidRun’s i.MX 8M Mini SOM. The “best peak” performance of the 2801S is 5.6 TOPS @ 100MHz. It can also run in an “ultra low power” mode of 2.8 TOPS @ 300mW. GTI also offers a mid-range Lightspeeur 2802 model at up to 9.9 TOPS/W.

The 28nm fabricated, 7 x 7mm Lightspeeur SPR2801S has an SDIO 3.0 interface and eMMC 4.5 storage. It offers read bandwidth of 68MB/s and write bandwidth of 84.69 MB/s. The NPU includes a 2-dimensional Matrix Processing Engine (MPE) featuring an APiM (AI Processing in Memory) technology that uses magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM).



Lightspeeur SPR2801S MPE architecuture (left) and Orange Pi 3
(click images to enlarge)

The 66.5 x 20.5 x 10.8mm Orange Pi AI Stick Lite has a USB 3.0 port and draws 200mA of 5V DC power. The operating range is 0 to 40°C.

The device supports Orange Pi boards with Allwinner H2, H3, H5, H6, and A64 processors, including the H6-based Orange Pi 3 and other Orange Pi and Orange Pi PC models. These can be easily identified in our latest Linux hacker board roundup by clicking on one of the spreadsheet links.

The PLAI training tools support model decomposition of convolutional neural networks (CNNs). The software “can rapidly train the original image, video, voice, natural language into prototype, then apply to the neural network computing stick,” says Shenzhen Xunlong. Several model demos are also available.

AI edge accelerators are all the rage these days, with NPUs baked into SoCs like the Rockchip RK3399Pro or made available separately on USB stick computers like Intel’s Neural Compute Stick 2 or Google’s Coral USB Accelerator or deployed via mini-PCIe or M.2 modules such as Aaeon’s AI Core X or AI Edge Computing Modules. These and other edge AI products are discussed in yesterday’s story on Arm’s latest Etheros NPUs.

 
Further information

The Orange Pi AI Stick Lite is available for $19.90 plus $5.77 for shipment to the U.S. More information may be found on the AliExpress Orange Pi AI Stick Lite shopping page and the Orange Pi wiki, which lists it under its old name: Orange Pi AI Stick 2801.
 

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2 responses to “Orange Pi AI Stick Lite packs 5.6 TOPS Gryfalcon GPU”

  1. AI Bot says:

    AI Inferencing instead of interferencing?

  2. Jeff Child says:

    Good catch, AI Bot.
    We made the correction.

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