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By October 20, 2017 Read More →

Facebook opts to assist Intel in developing AI processor

Intel needs to catch up with Nvidia’s AI innovations.

Facebook’s determination to enter new markets ranging from virtual reality to AI is gradually changing the face of a company that used to solely rely on the popularity of its social media networks. Facebook has taken interest in Intel’s unveiling of their new deep learning capable, Intel Nervana Neutral Network Processor. This processor has entered the testing phase of its production and will be tested and critiqued by a variety of customers. Facebook wishes to offer the expertise of its engineers to assist Intel in the development of the chip.

Intel Nervana. (Source: Intel)

Intel acquired Nervana Systems, the start up behind the development of the deep learning processor, for a reported $408 million in August 2016. Intel’s vice president Jason Waxman views the acquisition as a move away from cloud computing, believing that devices are better suited communicating with each other when utilizing artificial intelligence. “There is far more data being given off by these machines than people can possibly sift through.” Naveen Rao, cofounder of Nervana Systems commented on the sale stating “with this deal, we can now shatter the old paradigm and move into a new regime of computing. We’ll look back in 10 years and see this time as the inflection point of when computer architectures became neural.”

A press release by Intel provides categories of market usage for AI:

  • Health care: AI will allow for earlier diagnosis and greater accuracy, helping make the impossible possible by advancing research on cancer, Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders.
  • Social media: Providers will be able to deliver a more personalized experience to their customers and offer more targeted reach to their advertisers.
  • Automotive: The accelerated learning delivered in this new platform brings us another step closer to putting autonomous vehicles on the road.
  • Weather: Consider the immense data required to understand movement, wind speeds, water temperatures and other factors that decide a hurricane’s path. Having a processor that takes better advantage of data inputs could improve predictions on how subtle climate shifts may increase hurricanes in different geographies.

Intel is playing a bit of catch up by several years with Nvidia Corp due to not having a deep learning, AI-based processor. Nvidia’s shares have tripled in the past year whereas Intel has only grown by 5.6%.

Intel intends to deliver the new AI processor in either a user installation format or as a cloud-based subscription.

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Posted in: HWD, News Watch

About the Author:

Harrison Garovi is a recent graduate from the University of San Francisco who received a bachelor’s degree in advertising. Prior to attending college, Harrison was an intern for Jon Peddie Research and was responsible for testing graphics cards as well as other pieces of hardware. His interests are music production, traveling, playing video games, video editing, and taking photos of his Ford Mustang.

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