Vision Processing Unit

What Does Vision Processing Unit Mean?

A vision processing unit (VPU) is a type of microprocessor aimed at accelerating machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. It is a specialized processor that is made to support tasks like image processing, one of several specialized chips such as the GPU that are generally useful in machine learning.


Techopedia Explains Vision Processing Unit

The vision processing unit is in some ways similar to a video processing unit which is used with convolutional neural networks. Where a video processing unit is a specific type of graphics processing, the vision processing unit is described as more suitable for running different types of machine vision algorithms – these tools may be built with specific resources for getting visual data from cameras – they are built for parallel processing. Like video processing units, they are particularly geared toward image processing. Some of these tools are described as “low power and high performance” and may be plugged into interfaces that allow for programmable use. Other aspects of the build can vary due to manufacturer and design choices.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.