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Technologies - processing power

Intel’s venture capital firm to invest $38 million in startups

Intel Capital is investing $38 million in a dozen startups focused on autonomous machines, data and connectivity, sports and health, and virtual reality. One of the robotics firms, Chronocam, is creating computer vision sensors and systems that are like the biological human eye. Embodied is making socially assistive robots while Perrone Robotics is developing a software platform for autonomous vehicles and robots. Among the four startups focused on data and connectivity, two are China-based: Eazytec which provides IoT technologies for monitoring the water and air in China and Grand Chip Microelectronics which offers connectivity solutions for WLAN, Wi-Fi, cellular and IoT. The two others are Paxata, which is working on a business information platform that turns raw data into meaningful information for enterprise and IT users and StealthMine, which is securing data encryption for enterprise applications. Sports and health firms Cubeworks, Kinduct and L4Connect are developing tiny millimeter-sized wireless sensors, a data and analytics platform, and dashboards respectively. Virtual reality startup Dysonics is working on solutions that will enable people to capture 360-degree sounds for live VR experiences. Lastly, InContext Solutions is helping manufacturers and retailers simulate their products and services in virtual reality.

Key Takeaway: 

Intel Capital, Intel’s venture capital firm, is investing $38 million in 12 startups focused on robotics, IoT connectivity and data analytics, sports, health and wellness, as well as virtual reality, with technologies that are ground-breaking and could be useful for various customer markets such as the enterprise, health and wellness organizations.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

New sensor for driverless cars is smaller and cheaper

Quanergy, a startup based in California, has created a lidar for self-driving cars that is not only half the size of existing lidars but also cheaper. Its small size and cost can make better driverless cars. Called the S3, the new lidar is smaller than a camera with a weight of less than 11 ounces. It is also more advanced - it can scan objects and areas in higher resolution and greater range than other lidars. At a commercial price point of $250, the S3 is 32 times less expensive than a traditional lidar, and can produce half a million point-cloud data points a second. The sensors will be used in prototype cars next year and in commercial vehicles by 2018.

Key Takeaway: 

A new lidar system invented by Quanergy, which is more advanced, half the size and 32 times cheaper than existing lidars, can enable new designs for autonomous cars and develop smarter, more cost efficient vehicles.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 16, 2016

World's smallest transistor just a nanometer in size

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have made the world's smallest transistor that is just a nanometer wide, pushing past the 5-nanometer limit of silicon transistors. The transistor also has a tiny 1-nanometer gate made of a carbon nanotube and molybdenum disulfide material. Current gates in silicon transistors have the length of 10 nanometers at the smallest. This development could lead to performance improvements in laptops, desktop PCs, mobile devices and other electronics. However, it will not be available for commercial production yet as researchers still have to figure out how to pack a number of such transistors into a chip.

Key Takeaway: 

Berkeley Lab researchers have created the world's smallest transistor that is just a nanometer across, breaking past the 5-nanometer limit of silicon transistors, and could enable faster electronics and smaller devices. 

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 10, 2016

AMD unveils more powerful Bristo Ridge Pro chips to rival Intel's

Advanced Micro Devices has launched the new Bristol Ridge Pro processors for enterprise PCs which could be a serious contender to Intel chips that currently dominate the market. The chips are based on a 28-nanometer architecture the company launched early this year. The highest-performing chip, the A12, offers a clock rate of up to 4.2 gigahertz, 1 gigahertz faster compared to the 3.2 gigahertz of Intel's i5 6500 CPU chip, and has eight Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). According to AMD, the new chips are 14% better at CPU performance than the previous generation of PRO processors and 22% faster at graphic performance, while using two-thirds the power. They are compatible with the upcoming Zen processors, which will allow enterprises to upgrade their computers without having to buy new units. AMD also added controls based on the DASH security standard to enable administrators to remotely wipe or disable machines if a breach has occurred. Said chips will be shipping in the next months, and can be found in new HP and Lenovo machines.

Key Takeaway: 

Advanced Micro Devices, a rival of Intel, has unveiled its new Bristol Bridge Pro processors which are faster and offer better graphics than predecessors; new features include compatibility with upcoming Zen processors that will allow companies to upgrade units easily and the ability to remotely wipe data or disable machines if necessary.

Market Disruptions: 
Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 3, 2016

SAP to channel more than $2 billion to its Internet of Things business

Software company SAP will invest €2 billion ($2.24 billion) in its Internet of Things business to capitalize on the growing market which is estimated to expand to €250 billion by 2020. It will be used in developing solutions for the enterprise over the next five years, intensifying marketing and sales efforts, and building IoT labs around the globe. SAP already has two solutions commercialized. The first connects business equipments to monitor efficiency, while the second includes features of the first service plus automated executions and advanced controls. A third, which SAP plans to develop could provide machine learning and predictive analysis. The investment will also be used to establish IoT labs possibly in Berlin, Johannesburg, Munich, Palo Alto, São Leopoldo and Shanghai, which will be open to customers, partners and startups interested in Industry 4.0 and IoT technologies.

Key Takeaway: 

SAP, realizing the huge market opportunity for Internet of Things, will invest more than $2 billion in its IoT business to accelerate the development of IoT solutions for companies and increase collaboration between customers, partners and startups.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 28, 2016

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