Intel plans to complete Fab 42, a semiconductor factory in Chandler, Arizona, with an investment of more than $7 billion over the next three to four years. At its peak, the factory will employ about 3,000 process engineers, equipment technicians, and facilities-support engineers and technicians. Fab 42 will produce 7 nanometer chips and is "expected to be the most advanced semiconductor factory in the world" -- whatever that means.
As noted by New York Times technology reporter Farhad Manjoo andothers on Twitter, Intel's investment in Fab 42 wasn't the result of new federal subsidies or credits. However, the company chose to announce the move at the White House, where cameras captured Intel CEO Brian Krzanich offering President Donald Trump a gift and explaining how regulatory US tax policies have "disadvantaged" his business in the past.
Intel isn't alone in using the president as a way to generate media interestin an existing business deal. In December, Trump gave Sprint a signal boost when he congratulated the company on its decision to bring 5,000 jobs to the United States. Despite Trump's attempts to take credit for the deal, it was in fact put together months before he was elected.
Intel also isn't the only tech company making moves in Arizona -- most recently, Uber moved its fleet of custom, self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs to the state after a tiff with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Intel Capital to develop visual sensors for cars, drones, and robots
Chronocam, a maker of advanced vision sensors, announced today it has raised $15 million in venture capital in a round led by Intel Capital.
The announcement came as part of the Intel Capital Global Summit in San Diego. Intel said it had invested $38 million in 12 technologystartups in markets such as virtual and augement reality (VR/AR) and Internet of Things (IoT).
Based in Paris, Chronocam makes visual sensors that operate in a manner similar to the human eye. The company believes a more effective visual processing system that uses less power will be attractive for partners developing self-driving vehicles and have applications for a wide range of Internet of Things devices, as well as drones and robots.
The technology is the result of years of vision research conducted at French universities and has led to breakthroughs in computer vision technologies.
“We decided [the technology] was reaching a level of maturity that it should be taken to market,” said Luca Verre, cofounder and CEO of Chronocam.
In essence, the technology works by trying to limit the data gathered. The system seeks to know when images should and should not be captured so that the data that is transmitted can be analyzed more rapidly. That dynamic also requires less power for embedded systems, Verre explained.
“We want to send to the brain only what is relevant, only what is changing,” he said. “This makes the visual system very efficient.”
The company currently has 20 employees, split between chip design and the computer vision system. Verre said the latest round, which follows a previous investment of $2.8 million, will help the company hire into both development teams.
In addition to Intel, the round for Chronocam includes iBionext, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, GmbH, 360 Capital, CEAi, and Renault Group. The company will use the money to continue developing its technology, while also looking for partners to integrate it into their products.
“The world is becoming increasingly connected and intelligent, and computer vision is a key enabler of this trend — particularly for the automotive industry and Internet of Things,” Wendell Brooks, senior vice president at Intel and president of Intel Capital, said in a statement. “Connected machines that can quickly and accurately visualize their environment and act on that data in real time have the potential to help make the roads safer and save lives. And Chronocam’s vision solution — inspired by the human eye — is an exciting development. We look forward to helping the company bring the next generation of smartmachine vision systems to market.
Intel unveils platform to simplify connectivity of products
Intel Corp on Tuesday unveiled a new platform to make it easier for companies to create Internet-connected smart products using its chips, security and software.
Intel's platform is like a set of building blocks based on the chipmaker's components and software for companies to create smart, connected devices, Doug Davis, head of Intel's Internet of Things business, said at a launch event in San Francisco.
It also aims to make it easier to connect to data centers in order analyze data collected from devices' sensors.
"We're creating compute capability in end-point devices that scale from our highest performance Xeon processor to the Quark family of products," Davis said, referring to Intel's chips.
After moving slowly in recent years to adapt its personal computer chips for smartphones and tablets, Intel is determined to make sure it is on the leading edge of future computing trends, industry experts and company executives have said.
Adding processors, sensors and web connectivity to devices from soccer balls to industrial machinery, an emerging trend dubbed the Internet of Things, has become a new battleground for Intel, rival Qualcomm and other technology companies.
The install base of wireless gadgets will more than double by the end of the decade, with most of the growth coming from smart devices other than PCs and smartphones, according to market research firm ABI Research.
Intel's Internet of Things Group had $530 million in revenue in the September quarter. That accounted for just 4 percent of Intel's total revenue in the quarter, but it grew 14 percent over the previous year, which was faster than the company's PC business.