Qualcomm is working on AI computing much like rival chip makers Intel and NVIDIA, but it's sticking to what it does best: smaller devices and connectivity. It just unveiled the RB5 AI-enabled 5G robotics platform -- a follow-up to the RB3 chipset -- designed to be used in a wide array of robotic and drone products. The chips could help manufacturers build autonomous devices that can navigate their environments more adroitly while quickly relaying crucial information back to the user. The RB5 platform kit is a set of hardware, software and development tools that will allow manufacturers "to create the next generation of high-compute, low-power robots and drones," the company said. On the hardware side, it uses the company's QRB5165 processor and Kryo 585 CPU and Adreno 650 GPU, based on the Snapdragon 865 CPU. It's been customized for robotics applications and can deliver 15 TOPS (tera operations per second) of AI performance.
Luckily, Sony is aware of these concerns, and one of the foundational pieces of their sensors is the ability to process data and transmit information while respecting our privacy. Instead of generating actual images, Sony's AI chip can analyze the video it sees and provide just metadata about what's in front of it -- saying instead of showing what's in its frame of vision. Because no data is sent to remote servers, opportunities for hackers to intercept sensitive images or video are dramatically reduced, which should help allay privacy fears. The ability for these chipsets to process data locally means we may finally begin to see meaningful advancements in autonomous driving that go beyond the highway. Like humans, an autonomous car has to be capable of driving whenever, wherever, in any condition, and cannot be reliant on cloud computing to analyze, process, and respond to the world around it.
Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have partnered to embed artificial intelligence capabilities into the Japanese company's latest imaging chip, a big boost for a camera product the electronics giant describes as a world first for commercial customers. The new module's big advantage is that it has its own processor and memory built in, which allows it to analyze video using AI tech like Microsoft's Azure, but in a self-contained system that's faster, simpler and more secure to operate than existing methods. The two companies are appealing to retail and logistics businesses with potential uses like optimizing warehouse and factory automation, quantifying the flow of customers through stores and making cars smarter about their drivers and environment. At a time of increasing public surveillance to help rein in the spread of the coronavirus, this new smart camera also has the potential to offer more privacy-conscious monitoring. And should its technology be adapted for personal devices, it even holds promise for advancing mobile photography.
Up Your Game: The Mavic Air 2 camera drone takes power and portability to the next level. It combines a powerful camera with intelligent shooting modes for stunning results. Push your imagination to its limits because aerial photography has never been this easy. Next-Level Content: Capture impressive 48MP photos with a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor while the 3-axis gimbal provides 4K/60fps video. The secret to incredible HDR video is a high-performance Quad Bayer image sensor.
Intel makes processors that act as the main computing brains for PCs and servers. Nomura Instinet chip analyst David Wong initiated coverage on Intel on Tuesday with a Buy rating, predicting long-term sales growth of 8% to 10% annually for the technology giant. "Intel is the world leader in processors for artificial intelligence and autonomous driving," he wrote. "We think that microprocessor growth could well be above overall semiconductor industry growth over the next decade, fueling long-term top-line growth for Intel." The analyst started his price target for Intel at $65, representing 17% upside to the current stock price.
Coinciding with the kickoff of the 2020 TensorFlow Developer Summit, Google today published a pipeline -- Objectron -- that spots objects in 2D images and estimates their poses and sizes through an AI model. The company says it has implications for robotics, self-driving vehicles, image retrieval, and augmented reality -- for instance, it could help a factory floor robot avoid obstacles in real time. Tracking 3D objects is a tricky prospect, particularly when dealing with limited compute resources (like a smartphone system-on-chip). And it becomes tougher when the only imagery (usually video) available is 2D due to a lack of data and a diversity of appearances and shapes of objects. The Google team behind Objectron, then, developed a toolset that allowed annotators to label 3D bounding boxes (i.e., rectangular borders) for objects using a split-screen view to display 2D video frames.
Sony Corp. on Tuesday raised its group net and operating profit outlooks for the current business year through March, citing robust demand for image sensors used in portable devices such as smartphone cameras. The electronics and entertainment giant now expects a net profit of ¥590 billion ($5.42 billion), up ¥50 billion from the previous estimate, and operating profit of ¥880 billion, revised upward by ¥40 billion. It also raised its sales projection to ¥8.50 trillion from ¥8.40 trillion. For the nine months through December, Sony said its net profit fell 31.2 percent to ¥569.55 billion and its operating profit decreased 0.2 percent to ¥810.01 billion. Its sales slipped 0.4 percent to ¥6.51 trillion.
AI/Edge Vastai Technologies is using Arteris IP's FlexNoC Interconnect IP and AI Package for its Artificial Intelligence Chips for artificial intelligence and computer vision systems-on-chip (SoCs). Startup Vastai Technologies was founded in December 2018, designs ASICs and software platforms for computer vision and AI applications, such as smart city, smart surveillance, smart education, according to a press release. Smart city connections will be dominated by video surveillance and smart utility metering, says ABI Research in a report, predicting that by 2026, 87% of the smart city market will be those two device types. Low-latency 5G connections and embedded AI in video surveillance systems are some of the enabling technologies. Internet of Things The smart building market will generate over $2 billion in revenue by 2026 for software and services, says ABI Research, thanks to some new emerging applications.
I just dragged my sorry sack of cells around the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 for two days; it was hard work. Here are some notes of the things I saw during my visit. It's not intended to be a comprehensive review (nor an unbiased one), I'll leave that up to the professional journalists. This posting is just about what I happened to stroll into and piqued my interest. For the last few years I've done a write up on the show. Here are links to some of the previous years' reviews: What is better than a 4k TV? I think every major manufacturer had an 8k TV on display.
LAS VEGAS – Sony Corp. has unveiled the first prototype of an electric vehicle equipped with autonomous driving technology under its new Vision-S initiative. The concept car, introduced Monday by Sony President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida at a media preview ahead of the annual CES consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas, comes loaded with more than 30 sensors both inside and outside the vehicle to improve object detection. Built to showcase Sony's advanced automotive technologies, it also comes embedded with onboard AI technology and high-quality speakers for an immersive audio experience. According to Sony, the vehicle will permit a certain degree of supplementary driving, such as auxiliary braking, as complete autonomous driving is difficult. It plans to test drive the prototype on roads by March 2021 but said there are currently no plans for commercial sales or mass production.