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Intel is leaving PCs behind to highlight VR and IoT at IDF

Agam Shah | Aug. 16, 2016
This week's Intel Developer Forum is Intel's most important ever as the company lays out a new future

Intel will announce new Atom chips for IoT devices, drones and robots. Atom chips previously designed for smartphones and tablets are being reassigned to IoT devices like information kiosks, digital advertising signs, casino machines, and ATMs.

Intel is tying server chip sales to the number of IoT devices sold, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research. With more IoT devices sold, more server chips will be needed to analyze information in the cloud, he said.

Intel will also discuss its burgeoning AI strategy, which got a boost last week when it announced plans to acquire Nervana Systems, which offers deep-learning software and chip technology.

Intel is trying to catch with its competition on machine learning. Nvidia's GPUs drive machine learning at companies like Facebook and Google, and companies like KnuPath and Numenta offer specialized deep-learning chips. Google has announced such a chip called Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), which it is using internally.

On the last day of IDF, Intel is hosting a sideline conference called ISDF (Intel SoC FGPA Developer Forum), which, oddly, has rival ARM as a sponsor. These sessions will be targeted at developers working with FPGAs from Altera, which was acquired by Intel for $16.7 billion last year. Intel wants to put FPGAs in servers, storage devices, cars, IoT devices, robots, and drones.

 

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