DJI takes on Intel and Qualcomm with its own supercomputer for drones

2 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chinese fire up world’s ‘most powerful’ drone brain.

SHENZHEN, China and LONDON, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — DJI, the world leader in creative aerial technology, today announced the launch of the DJI Manifold, a high-performance embedded computer designed specifically to fly.

Chinese UAV outfit DJI is trumpeting the release of what it describes as the “most powerful computer designed for drones” – the “Manifold” embedded computer packing a quad-core ARM Cortex A-15 processor.Not merely content with conquering the consumer market and the media industry with drones armed with super high-resolution cameras, DJI has now launched a computer that is designed to give drones a more intelligent brain. Utilizing DJI’s Onboard SDK (Software Development Kit), the Manifold is a user-friendly system enabling developers to create more powerful professional applications for use with aerial technology. “With the Manifold, we are entering a new era of smarter, faster and more powerful aerial platforms. Add to that NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 and you’ve got a recipe for “transform aerial platforms into truly intelligent flying robots that can perform complex computing tasks and advanced image processing literally on the fly”. The company’s Phantom drones are probably some of the most popular commercial drones in the market today and for the most part their drones are pretty straightforward in terms of usability.

The $3,300 Matrice 100 is essentially DJI’s flying developer platform, with the ability to carry hardware like the Manifold and customizable sensors. As the Manifold computer both collects and analyses data in the air, it provides an efficient solution for developers in need of time-sensitive information. This, DJI argues, will enable “new artificial intelligence applications such as computer vision and deep learning.” The computer also features standard USB and Ethernet ports for attaching infrared cameras, atmospheric research devices, surveying equipment, and other sensors. The catch is that the Manifold will only play nicely with the company’s Matrice 100 drone, which for those unfamiliar is basically the developer’s version of the drone.

DJI’s Manifold is powered by NVIDIA Tegra K1’s 4-Plus-1 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor and 192 GPU CUDA cores with clock speeds of up to 2.2 GHz. Equipped with USB, Ethernet, HDMI and a variety of others ports, it enables the use of a wide range of sensors, monitors or interfaces. “We are excited to be working with DJI, who like us, believe in pushing technology beyond the limits of possibilities and paving the way for creators, makers and developers,” said Mark Murphy, Canonical’s VP, Devices Sales and Global Alliances. Ubuntu 14.04, the Long Term Support (LTS) version, will be available on the Manifold, providing support and maintenance for five years from release date. DJI was founded and is run by people with a passion for remote-controlled helicopters and experts in flight control technology and camera stabilization.

DJI’s global operations currently span North America, Europe and Asia, and its revolutionary products and solutions have been chosen by customers in over 100 countries; for applications in film, advertising, construction, fire fighting, farming, and many other industries. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

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