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Intel's five (not very) big announcements from IDF this week

James Niccolai | Aug. 20, 2015
New chips took a backseat to robots and 3D cameras

krzanich curie
Intel Intel's Curie SOC for wearable computers

RealSense goes everywhere
RealSense is Intel’s 3D depth-sensing camera. It uses three lenses - a standard 2D camera, an infrared laser and an infrared camera. It basically allows a computer to “see,” and Intel has already shown a drone navigating through trees in the woods using RealSense.

It’s already in some PCs, and at CES Intel showed the first prototype smartphone with RealSense. This could allow several handy uses. RealSense can be used to measure distances, so you can go furniture shopping and use your smartphone as a tape measure. It can also take photos that allow you to adjust the focus later, a bit like a Lytro camera, and it can be used to scan objects for sending to a 3D printer.

RealSense is the most pervasive technology at IDF. It’s also being shown in a vending machines that can tell the sex and age of the person standing in front of it, and in a robot bellhop that will deliver drinks to your hotel room. it’s also in gaming systems, including a new camera from Razer to use on the Twitch game streaming service.

RealSense robot
James Niccolai A robot that uses Intel's RealSense for computer vision

High-speed 3D XPoint memory and storage coming next year
Intel will launch the first products next year based on 3D XPoint, a new memory type it developed with Micron. Intel claims it will be 10x as dense as DRAM and 1,000 as fast as NAND Flash - although speed tests on stage revealed the initial performance gain to be closer to just 7x.

Under a new brand called Intel Optane, Intel will launch SSDs for servers and PCs next year, and also memory DIMMs for servers. Intel says 3D XPoint will supercharge everything from PC gaming to in-memory databases.

Intel is sponsoring a reality show?
Strange but true, Intel has partnered with United Artists to produce a reality TV show called "America's Greatest Makers." It will follow the trials and travails of inventors cometing to build the greatest wearable or gadget using Intel's Curie chip, and the winner will get a $1 million prize. 

 

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