TensorFlow to TensorFlow Lite: What You Need to Know

TensorFlow to TensorFlow Lite: What You Need to Know

In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to TensorFlow Lite and its benefits, and show you how to convert your TensorFlow models to TensorFlow Lite models.

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TensorFlow Lite is a toolkit for running TensorFlow models on mobile and embedded devices. It offers many advantages over other solution stacks for embedded and mobile devices, such as:

– Reduced complexity: TensorFlow Lite uses a simplified graph optimization process that removes non-essential ops from the model, making it easier to run on mobile and embedded devices.

– Increased portability: TensorFlow Lite can be compiled for multiple device architectures, making it easier to deploy models to a wide range of devices.

– Enhanced performance: TensorFlow Lite supports on-device quantization, which can significantly improve performance by reducing model size and computational complexity.

If you are already using TensorFlow to train and deploy your machine learning models, then TensorFlow Lite can offer a path to deploying your models on mobile and embedded devices with enhanced portability and performance.

What is TensorFlow?

TensorFlow is an open source platform for machine learning created by Google. It allows developers to easily build and train models, and also deploy them in a variety of ways. One of the most popular uses for TensorFlow is to convert models into a format that can be run on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This process is known as “model compression.”

There are two main ways to compress a TensorFlow model: using the TensorFlow Lite Converter, or using the TensorFlow Model Optimization Toolkit. Both of these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for your needs.

TensorFlow Lite Converter:

The TensorFlow Lite Converter is a Python tool that converts TensorFlow models into the TensorFlow Lite format. It’s relatively easy to use, and it supports a wide variety of model types and architecture types. However, it can be slow on large models, and it doesn’t always produce the smallest possible file size.

TensorFlow Model Optimization Toolkit:

The TensorFlow Model Optimization Toolkit is a set of Java tools that can be used to optimize TensorFlow models for performance and/or size. It’s faster than the TensorFlow Lite Converter, but it doesn’t support as many model types or architectures.

What is TensorFlow Lite?

TensorFlow Lite is TensorFlow’s lightweight solution for mobile and embedded devices. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants the power of TensorFlow without all the extra bells and whistles.

What are the benefits of using TensorFlow Lite?

There are many reasons to use TensorFlow Lite, but here are a few of the most important ones:

-It’s fast. TensorFlow Lite can execute models faster than many other frameworks, making it ideal for latency-sensitive applications such as real-time object detection.
-It’s small. TensorFlow Lite models are very small, so they can be easily deployed to devices with limited storage and memory.
-It supports a wide range of platforms. TensorFlow Lite can be used on a variety of platforms, including Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi, and standalone Linux and Windows devices.

Why Use TensorFlow Lite?

TensorFlow Lite is a great choice for mobile and embedded devices because it’s:
-Fast: TensorFlow Lite can execute models much faster than other similar frameworks.
-Small: TensorFlow Lite models are very small, so they can be easily deployed on devices with limited resources.
-Accurate: TensorFlow Lite achieves high accuracy on a variety of tasks, including image classification, object detection, and language understanding.

Converting TensorFlow Models to TensorFlow Lite

TensorFlow Lite is a lightweight version of TensorFlow that enables you to run neural networks on mobile devices with low latency. In order to use TensorFlow Lite, you need to convert your TensorFlow model into a TensorFlow Lite model. This guide will show you how to do that.

Before you begin, make sure that you have the following:

– A TensorFlow model that you want to convert into a TensorFlow Lite model.
– The TensorFlow Lite Converter, which is a tool that enables you to convert TensorFlow models into TensorFlow Lite models.
– The target device that you want to run your neural network on. This could be a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet, or an embedded device, like a sensor or microcontroller.

Once you have all of the above, follow these steps:

1. Install the TensorFlow Lite Converter on your development machine.
2. Convert your TensorFlow model into a TensorFlow Lite model using the converter.
3. Run your neural network on your target device using the TensorFlow Lite Runtime .

TensorFlow Lite Performance

TensorFlow Lite is TensorFlow’s lightweight solution for mobile and embedded devices. It enables on-device machine learning inference with low latency and a small binary size. TensorFlow Lite also supports hardware acceleration with the Android Neural Networks API.

TensorFlow Lite performance is very good. In our experience, it is usually about 2-3X faster than TensorFlow Mobile on the same hardware.

TensorFlow Lite Supported Devices

You can run TensorFlow Lite on a wide range of devices, from single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi to embedded systems like cars and drones. All you need is a device with an Arm Cortex-M processor and enough memory to run the model.

TensorFlow Lite also supports running on Qualcomm Hexagon DSPs. This can provide up to 10x performance improvements compared to running on a CPU.

TensorFlow Lite vs. TensorFlow Mobile

TensorFlow Lite is a new solution for on-device inference that is lighter weight and faster than TensorFlow Mobile. It provides all the benefits of TensorFlow, including support for training and deploying custom models, while still being smaller in size and faster on mobile devices.

If you’re already using TensorFlow Mobile, you can continue to use it as usual. However, we recommend that you switch to TensorFlow Lite for new projects, as it offers several advantages over TensorFlow Mobile:

1. **Lighter weight:** TensorFlow Lite is much lighter in terms of size and memory usage than TensorFlow Mobile, so it can be used on a wider range of devices.

2. **Faster performance:** TensorFlow Lite uses a new technique called “adaptive execution” to optimize performance on a range of devices, from low-end phones to the latest flagship phones. This results in up to 4x faster performance than TensorFlow Mobile on some models.

3. **Latest features:** TensorFlow Lite supports all the latest features of TensorFlow, including Eager Execution mode and custom model deployment with AutoML Vision Edge.


We’ve seen how TensorFlow and TensorFlow Lite can be used together to create powerful machine learning models that can be deployed on a wide variety of devices. While TensorFlow Lite is still in its early stages, it has already shown great promise as a tool for deploying machine learning models on resource-constrained devices. We believe that TensorFlow Lite will only continue to grow in popularity in the coming years.


If you’re looking to convert your TensorFlow models to TensorFlow Lite, there are a few resources that can help you out. Here’s a quick guide to what you need to know.

The first step is to find the right converter for your project. TensorFlow Lite provides a few different options: the TensorFlow Lite Converter, the TFLite Optimizing Converter, and the TOCO Conversion Tool. Each of these has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for your project.

Once you’ve chosen a converter, you’ll need to install it. The easiest way to do this is through pip:

pip install tensorflow-lite-converter

Once the converter is installed, you can use it to convert your model. The process will vary depending on which converter you’re using, but in general, you’ll need to point the converter at your model file and specify some conversion options. For more details on how to do this, check out the documentation for your chosen converter.

After you’ve converted your model, you’ll need to compile it before you can use it. TensorFlow Lite provides a few different ways to do this, depending on your needs. For more information, check out the compilation documentation.

Once your model is compiled, you’re ready to use it! You can use TensorFlow Lite with any standard device or platform that supports neural networks, including mobile phones, embedded devices, and EdgeTPU-based hardware accelerator boards.

Keyword: TensorFlow to TensorFlow Lite: What You Need to Know

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