Intel Buys Movidius to Grow Computer Vision Capabilities
Today's topics include Intel's plan to use Movidius to expand its computer vision capabilities, Iovation's acquisition of LaunchKey in an effort to boost security, AMD is shipping its 7th generation desktop PC processors and ZTE's unveiling of a smaller Axon 7 mini smartphone.
Intel is expanding its capabilities in virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the internet of things with the planned acquisition of Movidius, whose low-power processors are designed to enable much of the processing of data gathered from such technologies as Intel's RealSense computer vision platform.
Intel officials are positioning the move as a way to increase the chip maker's presence in a broad array of devices, such as robots, drones and virtual reality headsets, and make it a larger player in such emerging areas as VR, augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
The acquisition is also part of Intel's larger initiative to refocus much of its efforts and resources on such growth markets, pivoting away from the struggling global PC market.
Security vendor Iovation is acquiring privately held password-free log-in vendor LaunchKey in a bid to improve user security and reduce the risk of fraud.
News of the acquisition was provided exclusively to eWEEK, but terms of the deal are not being made public.
LaunchKey was founded in July 2012 and has raised $4 million in venture funding. Iovation, in business since 2004, has built out products and platforms to help reduce fraud online.
Advanced Micro Devices is shipping its latest desktop processors that will come with up to four of the vendor's current Excavator cores and will appear in systems from HP Inc. and Lenovo later this year.
While the new 7th Generation A-Series Bristol Ridge desktop chips won't feature AMD's high-profile upcoming Zen core—those processors will begin to appear later this year and really ramp in early 2017—they will bring significant performance and power efficiency improvements over their Kaveri-based predecessors, will be more competitive with Intel processors and will include the chip maker's new AM4 platform, which comes with its own set of new features.
In all, the new Bristol Ridge accelerated processing units, which put the compute and graphics capabilities on the same piece of silicon, and the adoption by Lenovo and HP are important steps for AMD.
ZTE has announced its latest smartphone, the Axon 7 Mini, which includes many of the premium features of its Axon 7 stablemate but incorporates a 5.2-inch display instead of the 5.5-inch screen of the original device.
The Axon 7 Mini, which ZTE unveiled on Sept. 1 at the IFA 2016 conference in Berlin, will be available in the United States, Russia, Germany, Spain, Poland, Japan, Australia, India and Saudi Arabia in the future, with pricing to be announced. The phones will be available in markets outside the U.S. at the end of September for about $334 in Europe with Value-Added Taxes included.
The smartphone features a 5.2-inch full HD AMOLED touch-screen display, a Qualcomm MSM8952 octa-core processor, an Adreno 405 graphics chip, 3GB of memory, 32GB of on-board storage, a 2,705mAh nonremovable Li-ion battery and quick-charging capabilities.