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Lenovo said today that it is using Movidius‘ computer vision technology in its next-generation virtual reality products.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Movidius makes very small chips that can handle basic graphics processing tasks. Lenovo is presumably using the small chips in a new line of mobile VR products.

Movidius said it has a strategic partnership with Lenovo related to its ultra-low power machine vision technology. The deal means that Lenovo will be able to source the advanced Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit (VPU) and custom computer vision algorithms for various virtual reality projects. Myriad 2 is an ultra-low power chip designed specifically for handling challenging vision-based tasks such as head tracking, gesture recognition, and blending multiple video streams into interactive VR video. It is compact and can be used in handheld and head-worn devices.

“Our technology was built to maximize machine vision performance in a sub-1 watt power budget,” said Movidius CEO, Remi El-Ouazzane, in a statement. “In selecting Myriad 2 for their VR products, Lenovo is building devices designed from the ground up for VR. We’re very much looking forward to these no-compromise devices that will push VR adoption into the mainstream.”

The Movidius product can be configured into 12 high-performance programmable vector cores. Lenovo could use them in a wide variety of products. The device has a built-in image signal processor and hardware accelerators, and it essentially offloads a lot of work from a device’s central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU).

“Lenovo has a long tradition of bringing innovative products to the market. Myriad 2 is unique in its ability to deliver the kind of vision compute performance we need for our next-generation VR products,” said Lenovo’s Shanghai research and technology group manager, Li Xiang, in a statement. “We can build the products we want, without compromising on cost, size, performance or battery life.”

The Lenovo products with the Myriad 2 from Movidius are expected to debut in the second half of 2016. Lenovo is showing new products today at its Lenovo World event in San Francisco.


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