Semiconductors & Electronics

Samsung India partners BITS Pilani to upskill employees in AI, ML


To help its employees at its Noida R&D facility to upgrade skills in areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud computing and Machine Learning (ML), Samsung India on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India's premier engineering institute BITS Pilani. As part of the initiative, the employees of the R&D centre will be able to pursue M.Tech in Software Systems, to further upgrade their skills, Samsung India said in a statement. "As technology evolves, skill sets must evolve too, especially for a company like Samsung that is focused on the next level of innovations," said Seounghoon Oh, Managing Director, Samsung R&D Institute India-Noida. "This MoU is in line with our vision to develop futuristic skill-sets aligned to the requirements of the fast evolving mobile and consumer electronics sectors," Oh said. As part of the initiative, every year a batch of 35 employees from Samsung R&D Institute India-Noida (SRI-Noida) will be sponsored for this two-year M.Tech programme.

One year later, Bixby is still half-baked


Now that the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are on sale, I thought we should take some time to get reacquainted with Samsung's ambitious virtual assistant. The sad truth is, the version of Bixby installed on the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus isn't that much better than what shipped on last year's Samsung flagships. Bixby does a lot of things, but some of Samsung's most fascinating work has gone into Bixby Vision, a suite of seemingly useful image recognition tools. Here's the rub, though: They're just about all powered by third-party services, and there's often little reason to use Bixby over any of those standalone apps. Vision is legitimately useful in that it provides a single place to access these functions, but it's hard to get excited when Samsung's main selling point comes down to convenience.

Where NEXT for Tech Innovation in 2018?


One way that Samsung Electronics works with the technology startup community is through Samsung NEXT – an innovation arm that scouts, supports and invests in forward-thinking new software and services businesses and entrepreneurs. By rubbing shoulders with those on the frontline of software innovation, as well as harnessing the insights of its homegrown experts, Samsung is always thinking about how technology, and indeed society, will change. We spoke with members of the Samsung NEXT team--here are the top five technologies that will change people's lifestyle in 2018. Artificial intelligence (AI) will dramatically expand within the next 12 months. It is already changing the way people interact with a number of applications, platforms and services across both consumer and enterprise environments.

Qualcomm adds Tobii's eye-tracking tech to its mobile VR kit


That means future head-mounted displays (HMDs) based on Qualcomm's standalone headset kit will feature more efficient foveated rendering. Since they can tell where you're looking, they'll be able to dedicate most of their graphics power to make that part of the experience as sharp and clear as possible. They can even downgrade graphics on parts of the screen you're not looking at, which could lead to systems with lower specs and lower price tags. Eye tracking will also make experiences more personal and interactive. Avatars and in-game characters could look at you when you look at them, which could make interactions in VR social networks much more enjoyable.

Today only, save $370 on a DJI Phantom 4 Advanced drone from B&H


Drones are pretty nifty devices, but the prices for the best ones can often feel as high as the altitudes the drones can reach. Fortunately, B&H currently has a one-day sale on the DJI Phantom 4 Advanced Quadcopter that lets you pick up the device for $370 off the regular price of $1,199. All total, you'll be paying just $829 as B&H is offering free shipping. The quadcopter flies at around 44 miles per hour and can stay up in the air for around 30 minutes. It also comes with five sensors for avoiding obstacles, and its 20MP camera can capture 4K video with a range of 4.35 miles.

Samsung SmartThings, Harman to collaborate on IoT acceleration


US auto-component giant Harman and Samsung SmartThings will collaborate to accelerate the growth of the latter's Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, the companies have announced. Under the engineering partnership, Harman Connected Services, a division of Harman working on connected devices, will assist in rolling out the SmartThings app, integrate third-party sensors into the SmartThings ecosystem, and work on feature development for SmartThings Cloud. The two companies will also work to create future roadmap features for hub core and embedded components. SmartThings platform is in over 1 million homes and its cloud is connected to over 10 million devices, the companies said, adding that they want to accelerate the adoption and solution development across industries. Samsung completed the acquisition of Harman for $8 billion last year and has been adopting the US firm's solutions into its own portfolio.

Samsung's C-Lab adds character to AI at SXSW


The first concept on show was Toonsquare, which uses AI to convert sentences into cartoons. Like Samsung's AR Emoji, the process starts with a selfie but instead of creating a creepy 3D version of you, it generates a cutesy chibi. A few of us tried this out, and each time the character was a convincing (if unflattering) representation. Once you have your character, you type words into speech bubbles, and the AI will work to discern the emotions in each sentence. It'll then customize the pose and expression of the character, and the formatting of the speech bubble, to match the words.

Why Intel Is So Wary of a Broadcom-Qualcomm Merger WSJD - Technology

Since late last year, Intel has been exploring a bid for Broadcom to forestall that company's $117 billion offer for Qualcomm in what would be the biggest-ever tech deal, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal in an article published Friday. Intel's interest in derailing that deal reflects its worry that a combined Broadcom-Qualcomm, which would create the third-largest chip company by revenue after Intel and Samsung Electronics Co., would endanger its competitive position, the people said. A merged Broadcom and Qualcomm would combine market-leading smartphone chips with a strong presence in data centers, two areas Intel has targeted for growth. And Qualcomm's own proposed purchase of Dutch automotive chip specialist NXP Semiconductors NV would turbocharge such a merger in the automotive market, where Intel has placed one of its biggest bets. "You'd have this powerhouse going up against you," said analyst Stacy Rasgon of Bernstein Research, noting the combined revenue of Broadcom and Qualcomm--nearly $40 billion in fiscal 2017--would be formidable even relative to Intel's $63 billion in the same year.

Executive Insight: Wally Rhines


Wally Rhines, president and CEO of Mentor, a Siemens Business, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss a wide range of industry and technology changes and how that will play out over the next few years. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What will happen in the end markets? Rhines: The end markets are perhaps more exciting from a design perspective right now than they have been in recent years. Everyone is intrigued with the electronic design opportunities that have been emerging in the automotive industry.

Samsung Upgrading Bixby AI Following Latest Startup Acquisition

International Business Times

Samsung Electronics is now believed to be upgrading its Bixby artificial intelligence platform following its latest acquisition. The South Korean giant's affiliate has apparently acquired AI search engine startup Kngine. The Investor learned Wednesday that Samsung Research America has acquired a 100-percent stake in Kngine, a startup that develops mobile solutions that understand and answer inquiries with the use of AI including deep learning. The functionality is something that could strengthen Bixby as a whole and set it apart from its rivals, like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. Kngine started its operations in 2013 in Egypt.