Unlock Deeper Learning with the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit

The Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit—previously known as CNTK— is an easy-to-use, open source, commercial-grade toolkit that trains deep learning algorithms to learn like the human brain. This toolkit empowers you to harness the intelligence within massive datasets through deep learning by providing uncompromised scaling, speed, and accuracy with superior quality and compatibility with the programming languages and algorithms you already use. Below you’ll find a list of some of the many features and capabilities offered with the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit:

Highly optimized, built-in components:

  • Components can handle multi-dimensional dense or spare data from Python, C++ or BrainScript
  • FNN, CNN, RNN/LSTM, Batch normalization, Sequence-to-Sequence with attention and more
  • Reinforcement learning, generative adversarial networks, supervised and unsupervised learning
  • Ability to add new user-defined core-components on the GPU from Python
  • Automatic hyperparameter tuning and built-in readers optimized for massive datasets

Efficient resource usage:

  • Paralleism with accuracy on multiple GPUs/machines via 1-bit SGD and Block Momentum
  • Memory sharing and other built-in methods to fit even the largest models in GPU memory

Easily express your own networks:

  • Full of APIs for defining networks, learners, readers, training and evaluation from Pyton, C++ and BrainScript
  • Evaluate models with Python, C++, C# and BrainScript
  • Interoperation with NumPy
  • Both high-level and low-level APIs available for ease of use and flexibility
  • Automatic shape inference based on your data
  • Fully optimized symbolic RNN loops (no unrolling needed)

Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit Supported Solutions

Exxact offers the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit pre-installed optionally in our line of Deep Learning Solutions. Each Exxact Deep Learning Solution is powered by leading hardware, software, and systems engineering. All Exxact Deep Learning Solutions are turn-key and designed for rapid development and deployment of deep neural networks.

Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit Key Features

Speed & Scalability

The Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit trains and evaluates deep learning algorithms faster than other available toolkits, scaling efficiently in a range of environments—from a CPU, to GPUs, to multiple machines—while maintaining accuracy.

Commercial-Grade Quality

The Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit is built with sophisticated algorithms and production readers to work reliably with massive datasets. Skype, Cortana, Bing, Xbox, and industry-leading data scientists already use the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit to develop commercial-grade AI.


The Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit offers the most expressive, easy-to-use architecture available. Working with the languages and networks you know, like C++ and Python, it empowers you to customize any of the built-in training algorithms, or use your own.