VIA Edge AI 3D Developer Kit Launched with Help of Lucid, Qualcomm
VIA Technologies announced this week the launch of a new artificial intelligence software and hardware solution aimed at helping accelerate the depth sensing capabilities of a wide range of devices. The VIA Edge AI 3D Developer Kit, which could have applications ranging from retail and security cameras, to robotics, to autonomous vehicles, is built around two key partnerships: Lucid, an AI-based depth sensing manufacturer, and networking and chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
With Lucid, VIA gets access to the company’s proprietary 3D Fusion Technology, which provides a greater and more accurate depth and 3D sensing technology to the new VIA Edge AI 3D Developer Kit. Lucid, for its part, has successfully developed its own products like the LucidCam while also securing its own partnerships, including one with RED for its coming Hydrogen One smartphone, which is recently hit the market. The brand also has plans to scale its 3D depth sensing technology with other smartphone manufacturers as well. VIA said that as it builds out the long-term roadmap for Edge AI, Lucid will continue to add camera- and machine-learning based depth capabilities on top of every platform.
“Through this exciting partnership, VIA and Lucid together are tackling the fast scaling required by depth sensing with our Edge AI platforms and systems. We see major applications not only for security cameras, but also smart retail, robots, drones, and especially autonomous vehicles,” Richard Brown, Vice-President of International Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc., said in a statement. “This collaboration will yield a hardware/software combination where VIA provides customizable and embeddable Edge AI developer kits, systems, and cameras with Lucid’s AI solution as an integrated software module. This will provide a tightly-integrated package for all device makers looking to kickstart the development of depth sensing capabilities.”
Han Jin, cofounder and CEO of Lucid, added that the partnership will help deliver a superior system in both cost and performance while also addressing an important need for device makers in the AI and depth-sensing market. It’s “simplifying development efforts for a wide range of IOT and dual camera devices, compared to previously more expensive and bulky hardware-based depth solutions,” he said.
Beyond making the process cheaper for VIA, the Lucid partnership also allows for the company for speed up system scaling and deployment by integrating Lucid’s already developed, lower cover, smaller form factor, and less power hungry solution.
And with Qualcomm, VIA brings in the company’s AI Engine-powered APQ8096SG processor. Combined, those technologies will be able to support multiple camera systems and a performance level that surpasses other hardware depth-sensing solutions.
VIA said it plans to begin distributing the VIA Edge AI 3D Developer Kit to customers for evaluation and will make the platform available in limited quantities later this year. Full volume distribution is expected to begin in early 2019.