Category Archives: Chips & Computing Systems

Effects of artificial intelligence will surpass the industrial revolution, says SoftBank CEO

The chief executive of telecommunications giant SoftBank says the effects of artificial intelligence will take the world much further and have a more profound effect than even the industrial revolution. 

Masayoshi_Son

An old picture of Masayoshi Son, courtesy of Wikipedia

In an article accompanying a special edition of the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son was quoted as saying the new “information revolution” is being partly driven by data collected through billions of sensors.

SoftBank has been buying up a variety of AI and robotics startups, most recently a company called Nauto, which is developing systems for driverless cars.

At the root of the technology, Son says, are microprocessors and microcontrollers. “Those who rule chips will rule the entire world,” he said. “Those who rule data will rule the entire world. That’s what people of the future will say.”

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Connecting the dots of quantum computing

ibm 4-qubit square circuit

Layout of IBM’s four superconducting quantum bit device announced in 2015. Using a square lattice, IBM is able to detect both types of quantum errors for the first time. (Credit: IBM Research)

By Sachin Garg, associate director, electronics and semiconductors practice, MarketsandMarkets Research

Binary computers helped us to get connected with an entirely new realm of opportunities and possibilities. It took a lot of effort and time to build a computer which can execute multiple tasks and handle massive calculations at the same time.

But despite many innovations and developments, the computing systems currently available are not fast enough in handling complex problems and calculations.

To address this problem, various tech companies and organisations have been developing computing systems which can use quantum concepts to execute complex tasks and solve any problems. 

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Fujitsu extends product portfolio with connectors from Neltron

fujitsu connectors

Fujitsu Electronics Europe is extending its line card portfolio to include products from Neltron Industrial.

The Taiwan-based company manufactures ROHS compliant connectors of various types. With this partnership, FEEU is seeking to widen the range of its offerings and to create new synergies between them, strengthening its role as a Value Added Distribution Partner for the EMEA market.

Neltron offers a broad range of connector types, including board to board, wire to board, wire to wire, FPC/FCC, IDC connectors, shrouded header, USB connectors and jumpers. 

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Baidu opens up its software to accelerate development of self-driving technology with 50 other companies in ‘autonomous driving ecosystem’

Baidu self-driving car

Baidu self-driving car being showcased at a recent company conference

Baidu, which is China’s equivalent of Google, has accelerated the development of its self-driving technology by opening up its software to outside companies. 

The Chinese internet search giant has been building its autonomous vehicle operating system for quite some time, testing it on a variety of vehicles in China.

Now it will give away that software for free, probably in an effort to steal a march on global competitors such as Google, Apple and a growing number of other tech companies which are developing artificial intelligence systems which can drive cars all by themselves. 

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Nvidia partners with Hella and ZF to improve safety of self-driving vehicles

nvidia hella zf self-driving truck

Nvidia has formed a strategic partnership with ZF and Hella to deliver AI technology with the New Car Assessment Program safety certification for the mass deployment of self-driving vehicles. 

ZF, one of the industry’s largest automotive suppliers, and Hella, a leading tier 1 supplier of camera perception software and sensor technologies, will provide customers with a complete self-driving system that integrates front camera units, as well as supporting software functions and radar systems.

Using the Nvidia Drive PX AI platform, the partnership aims to produce the highest NCAP safety ratings for passenger cars, while also addressing commercial vehicle and off-highway applications. 

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Growing market for advanced driver assistance systems brings big bucks for Bosch

dirk hoheisel

Dirk Hoheisel, Bosch board member responsible for mobility solutions, making his presentation

The demand for advanced driver assistance systems is surging, according to Bosch, which says it pocketed almost $4 billion last year from supplying the technology. 

The company is developing a range of hardware and software solutions for what it calls automated driving, and one of them is an onboard artificial intelligence-driven computer, which will go into production within the next few years.

ADAS is often seen as autonomous – or driverless – car technology, except it’s integrated into cars already being purchased in large numbers today. 

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Volkswagen buys D-Wave quantum computers which sell for $15 million each

D-Wave’s quantum computing system

Volkswagen has become a customer of D-Wave Systems, which builds quantum computers that cost $15 million each. 

Martin Hofmann, VW’s chief information officer, told New York Times that the investment in quantum computing technology is a sign of things to come. “For us, it’s a new era of technology,” he said.

VW is claimed to have used a D-Wave computer to steer the movements of 10,000 taxis in Beijing simultaneously, optimising their routes and reducing congestion, according to the report in NYT. 

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Harman introduces Sherlock AI system to help its designers and engineers find and put things together more quickly

Harman International, a design and engineering company which supplies a range of products and services to automotive companies, has introduced a new artificial intelligence system into its company.

The AI system, Sherlock, is described as a “virtual colleague” for Harman employees, and is said to have completely redefined the innovation management workflow in some of the company’s divisions.

Armin Prommersberger, senior vice president technology, lifestyle audio division, at Harman, says Sherlock offers a level of insight into the business that would be impossible to gain without it. 

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Innovative sensors are empowering the smart factory robot, says AMS

ams Industrial-Robotics

By Mark Donovan

The next industrial revolution is arriving on a shore near you. It’s called Industry 4.0, and like its three predecessors, it’s about to bring sweeping changes to manufacturing that will globally affect everyone.

Industry 4.0, and the resulting manufacturing changes that are coming with it, have spawned a new type of production plant called the smart factory.

Central to the smart factory is the prolific use of autonomous and collaborative robots that work symbiotically with each other and alongside human beings to yield a more productive and efficient manufacturing plant. 

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Hillcrest Labs launches ‘industrial grade sensor for consumer products’

FSM300 Module vs Quarter_NEW_ExtraLarge crop

Hillcrest Labs has a new sensor system which the company says is “four times better” than competitor solutions.

Hillcrest says its new FSM300 delivers industrial-grade sensor fusion accuracy at prices suitable for consumer products with “four times greater accuracy versus competitor solutions in some tests”.

The FSM300 is what’s called a attitude and heading reference system, which is a sensor system, and an inertial measurement unit, which like a gyroscope. 

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Renesas working on new products for self-driving cars

renesas soc v3m

Renesas, one of the leading suppliers of electronics to the automotive sector, says it is developing a new range of products which it plans to launch towards the end of this year, according to a report in Automotive News

The company plans to market the new range of products under the label of “Renesas Autonomy”, and it will include such things as an image-recognition system which works with automotive cameras, around-view monitors and lidar systems.

The market for automotive electronics has been accelerating at a fast rate and is seeing consolidation in the chipmaking business, with Qualcomm having bought NXP, which previously bought Freescale. 

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Bosch to build gigantic semiconductor production plant in Germany

bosch_waferfab-reutlingen 111

German industrial giant Bosch is building a massive semiconductor production plant which would represent the single largest investment in the company’s 130-year history. 

The high-tech facility, to be located in Dresden, would employ around 700 staff working on 300-millimeter semiconductor chips which Bosch says has growing applications in the automotive market, smart cities and on the industrial internet, all strong markets for Bosch.

The construction of the high-tech factory is to be completed by the end of 2019, says Bosch, and production is expected to begin at the end of 2021 after a start-up phase. Overall, the investment volume for the site is estimated to be around $1.1 billion. 

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