What Will 2019 Have In Store For the Chip-making Industry?

The battle for top spot is intensifying in the chip-making space

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Every year tech giants roll out some of the biggest announcements at the annual Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas in January. The world's largest technology trade show is attended by most of the big names in tech and startup world. This year, several updates from the global chipmakers like Intel, Advance Micro Devices, Qualcomm and Nvidia created quite a buzz around the event.

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PC and server chip company Intel announced the Intel® Nervana™ Neural Network Processor for Inference, or NNP-I. This new class of chip is for accelerating inference for companies with high workload demands and is expected to go into production this year. Facebook is one of Intel’s development partners on the NNP-I. In addition, Intel is expected to have a neural network processor for training, code-named “spring crest,” available later this year.

At the CES 2019, Navin Shenoy, Intel executive vice president in the Data Center Group, demonstrated the processor. “This is a really big deal for us. It expands our position in AI beyond what we’ve done with Xeon into a new domain,” he said.

The new "inference" AI chip would help the social media giant and others deploy machine learning more efficiently and cheaply. Intel began its AI chip development after acquiring Nervana Systems in 2016.

Tech Companies Brace Up for Increasing Competition

The battle for top spot has intensified in the chip-making space. The Santa Clara-based Nvidia announced GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, a gaming graphics processing unit powered by the Turin architecture, which brings the power of real-time ray tracing and AI to the latest games, and to every gamer.

“For tens of millions of gamers everywhere, next-gen gaming starts today. Desktop gamers are demanding, and the RTX 2060 sets a new standard — an unbeatable price, extraordinary performance and real-time ray tracing that blurs the distinction between movies and games. This is a great moment for gamers and our industry,” said NVIDIA founder and chief executive officer Jensen Huang, at the RTX 2060’s unveiling at CES 2019.

At the event, leading wireless chipmaker Qualcomm also expanded its line of car computing chips and categorized them into the different price range, similar to its range smartphone chips.

Qualcomm Technologies’ integrated car computing platforms are driving leadership and growth across telematics, infotainment and in-car connectivity, with an order pipeline of more than $5.5 billion, which is up from $3 billion in January 2018. The company has secured infotainment and digital cockpit wins with 18 of the 25 global automaker brands. Qualcomm Technologies continues to work with numerous automakers and tier I suppliers to bring next generation technologies to vehicles.

Qualcomm will sell three levels of car computing platforms comprising performance, premiere and paramount classes for the entry level, mid-tier and super computing platforms, respectively.

Nidhi Singh

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