Raspberry Pi partners with Hailo to create AI kit for RPi 5

Raspberry Pi has teamed up with Hailo to create an artificial intelligence (AI) Kit for the Raspberry Pi 5.

The kit offers a power-efficient and extremely cost-effective solution for people looking to dabble in the world of AI, particularly neural networks and machine learning.

Priced at just $70, the Kit uses Raspberry Pi’s M.2 HAT+ connection and a Hailo-8L AI accelerator module. It reaches 13 TOPS (tera-operations per second) and consumes around a watt of power for every three TOPS, capping at around five watts but usually resting at around one or two for a ‘typical’ workload, according to a statement made by Raspberry Pi’s CTO Avi Baum to The Register.

Also speaking to The Register, Raspberry Pi’s CEO Eben Upton said that they have intentionally used a separate accelerator rather than an integrated Neural Processing Unit as part of their focus on disaggregated architecture.

The key reason the Hailo-8L isn’t bundled and integrated with the Raspberry Pi 5 is so that the single-board computers can maintain one of their chief selling points – the great value price. An RPi5 costs just $80 and is an extremely accessible entry point for users.

A key feature is that much of the computing will be done on the Pi, without needing to bring in cloud backup, reducing the reliance on constant connectivity.

How does the Hailo-8L measure up?

Raspberry Pi and Hailo have clearly designed their product with a specific goal in mind – hitting the right balance of performance, price, and power consumption. How does it compare to other options available though?

The Hailo-8L is a pared-down version of the Hailo-8 which was announced earlier this year. The 8L offers 13 TOPS of performance at INT8, a substantial decrease from the 26 TOPS provided by the 8.

Other players in the scene have also announced their own system-on-a-chip products, with Qualcomm offering 45 TOPS, Intel hitting 48, and AMD reaching 50 TOPS. However, it is unlikely any of these will be priced in the same region as the 8L. Being able to set up a state-of-the-art neural network for about $130 is something only Raspberry Pi and Hailo have been able to offer so far.

Featured image credit: Raspberry Pi

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Ali Rees