Semiconductors & Electronics


How Artificial Intelligence is Reinventing Consumer Electronics Segment

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After taking healthcare, education, and telecommunication sectors by storm, artificial intelligence (AI) is all decked up to revolutionize the consumer electronics industry within the next five years. As per IBEF'S industry analysis report, Indian consumer electronics market is expected to grow at 41 percent CAGR during 2017-20 to reach $ 400 billion. Evidently, the combination of AI and IoT into the market products is further going to fuel the exponential growth. Though some of the product segments, including smartphones, alarm clocks, watches, etc, have evolved into smart ones, many are going through a rapid AI transformation phase. The application of AI into the industry of consumer electronics opens up many growth avenues and opportunities.



Design on a Diamond: AI's Potential in Advanced Materials Research

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Applying just a bit of strain to a piece of semiconductor or other crystalline material can deform the orderly arrangement of atoms in its structure enough to cause dramatic changes in its properties, such as the way it conducts electricity, transmits light, or conducts heat. Now, a team of researchers at MIT and in Russia and Singapore have found ways to use artificial intelligence to help predict and control these changes, potentially opening up new avenues of research on advanced materials for future high-tech devices. The findings appeared in early February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in a paper authored by MIT professor of nuclear science and engineering and of materials science and engineering Ju Li, MIT Principal Research Scientist Ming Dao, and MIT graduate student Zhe Shi, with Evgenii Tsymbalov and Alexander Shapeev at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Russia, and Subra Suresh, the Vannevar Bush Professor Emeritus and former dean of engineering at MIT and current president of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Already, based on earlier work at MIT, some degree of elastic strain has been incorporated in some silicon processor chips. Even a 1% change in the structure can in some cases improve the speed of the device by 50 percent, by allowing electrons to move through the material faster.


Samsung Bixby 2.0: Cheat sheet

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When Samsung launched its Bixby digital assistant with the Galaxy S8, some basic features were missing, and they were slow to arrive. On top of that, Bixby was installed alongside the well-established Google Assistant, prompting questions as to whether it was really necessary to add another digital assistant to an already crowded market. Samsung may have realized Bixby's shortcomings as a digital assistant, but with Bixby 2.0 the Korean tech giant is hardly backing down. Bixby 2.0 is the lead element of Samsung's bid to build its own ecosystem of connected devices and services. The new Bixby strategy is vastly different from what came before it, which is why we've chosen to publish this article to accompany our original Bixby cheat sheet, which focuses more on its digital assistant features.


Intel's MESO transistor promises vast leap in AI processing power

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Less than a decade ago, neuroscientist Amir Khosrowshahi was drilling holes and sticking needles into skulls to learn about the human brain. He turned his knowledge of neuroscience into entrepreneurial success, cofounding Nervana, a startup that helped large companies run neural networks, the technology now driving explosive results in AI. Intel, the world's largest maker of computer chips, acquired Nervana for more than $350 million just two years later, in 2016. Since then, Harvard and UC Berkeley-trained Khosrowshahi has emerged as a key AI thinker within Intel, where AI and chips are colliding in new and profound ways. In an interview with VentureBeat, Khosrowshahi, now CTO of AI, said he is staying at Intel because of a group of researchers there.


Sonos, Dyson vacuums, LG 4K TVs, Instant Pot, Roomba, and more on sale for Feb. 21

Mashable

Ever get bored at work? While this pilot is clearly bored while flying an airplane, for those stuck at a desk there's a simple answer to workday doldrums. Shop these amazing deals we found on Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Macy's and get the pick-me-up you need. We've rounded up the best deals on 4K TVs and accessories from Toshiba, LG, and Sonos, home products to get your household in order from Dyson and Keurig, and Amazon smart home devices and tablets for kids and adults alike. Scroll down to shop all of the best deals from across the internet for Thursday, Feb. 21: Save $80 on the Toshiba 32-inch 720p HD Fire TV Edition (priced at $99.99) on Amazon, while you can save $150 on the Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series blender (priced at $599.99) from Macy's.


Q&A with leaders of Intel's MESO chip: 'This will happen faster than you think'

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Intel is working on a new transistor called MESO that could be 10 to 30 times more efficient than existing transistors, a potential game-changer for the industry (see our main article here). It could help solve many of the world's biggest problems, spurring AI efforts that could help everything from fighting climate change to improving waste management. We interviewed Intel's Amir Khosrowshahi, CTO of AI, and Ian Young, Senior Fellow and circuit designer and lead researcher on the MESO project. Khosrowshahi, who is supposed to be focused on product development and thus on projects with impact within the next 2 to 5 years, says he's more excited about MESO than any other project right now -- even though it could take 10 years to get to market. Young's team wrote a paper about MESO for Nature, published in December.


The S10 has a Bixby button, but it can be remapped to open any app

Engadget

Samsung's newest, shiniest phones, the Galaxy S10 line, come with a Bixby button just like the company's previous devices, but this time around, there's a twist: The key is completely customizable. S10 owners can remap the Bixby button to open any app with a single or double press, according to The Verge. Even if you map the Bixby button to a third-party app, holding it down will always open Samsung's virtual assistant. See? Compromise is possible in 2019, after all. Previous Galaxy phones have included a dedicated Bixby button in the same spot, just under the volume controls on the left side of the phone, and it's been a cumbersome stumbling block for many users.


Samsung CEO says the Galaxy Home speaker will arrive by April

Engadget

While the Samsung Galaxy Home was nowhere to be seen at the company's Galaxy Unpacked event held today, the smart speaker apparently has not been forgotten. DJ Koh, vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics, told CNET that the company plans to launch the long-awaited device by April. At this point, the Galaxy Home has been a long time coming. First announced by Samsung in August 2018 at the company's Galaxy Note 9 event, the competitor for the Apple HomePod, Google Home and Amazon Echo has been relegated to the background for the most part. It was on display at CES 2019 back in January and was able to perform some commands but was still limited in its functionality.


Samsung's Bixby gets a little smarter

ZDNet

The Bixby-powered Galaxy Home speaker will launch in April, Samsung said. Samsung's AI platform Bixby is still a minor player in the virtual assistant market, with just a fraction of the audience that Google, Amazon and Apple enjoy. Still, Samsung continues to invest in Bixby's capabilities and its reach. At the Galaxy S10 Unpacked event on Wednesday, Samsung announced that Bixby is now officially available in four new European languages. And speaking with ZDNet's sister site CNET, Samsung co-CEO DJ Koh on Wednesday said the Galazy Home -- a Bixby-powered smart speaker -- will finally launch in April.