Google continues to expand its range of AI products and services with a trio of new hardware devices aimed at the development community, launching the new Google Coral brand. It includes a $150 development board featuring a removable system-on-module with one of its custom tensor processing unit (TPU) AI chips, a $74.99 USB accelerator USB dongle designed to speed up machine learning inference on existing Raspberry Pi and Linux systems, and a 5-megapixel camera that's available for $24.99. The Coral Development Board, which runs a derivative of Linux dubbed Mendel, spins up compiled and quantized TensorFlow Lite models with the aid of a quad-core NXP i.MX 8M system-on-chip paired with integrated GC7000 Lite Graphics, 1GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and 8GB of eMMC storage (expandable via microSD slot). It boasts a wireless chip that supports Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac 2.4/5GHz and Bluetooth 4.1, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a full-size HDMI 2.0a port, plus USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, a 40-pin GPIO expansion header, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The Coral USB Accelerator is basically a plug-in USB 3.0 stick to add machine learning capabilities to the existing Linux machines.
Google has officially released its Edge TPU (TPU stands for tensor processing unit) processors in its new Coral development board and USB accelerator. The Edge TPU is Google's inference-focused application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that targets low-power "edge" devices and complements the company's "Cloud TPU," which targets data centers. Credit: GoogleLast July, Google announced that it's working on a low-power version of its Cloud TPU to cater to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The Edge TPU's main promise is to free IoT devices from cloud dependence when it comes to intelligent analysis of data. For instance, a surveillance camera would no longer need to identify objects it sees in real-time through cloud analysis and could instead do so on its own, locally, thanks to the Edge TPU.
For the last three years, coral reefs in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans have been devastated by bleaching due to high ocean temperatures. But now, after looking at satellite and model data, the NOAA says that this terrible event might finally be at an end. Coral bleaching is the result of elevated ocean water temperatures due to climate change. When coral experiences a change in conditions, it becomes stressed, and the algae that live symbiotically with the coral begin to leave. The coral starts turning white, which is why it's called bleaching.
Coral reefs are huge, but corals themselves are very, very small. Australia's Great Barrier Reef has an area of 132,974 square miles, while an individual coral polyp is only one millimeter long. So how can researchers get an up-close and personal look at individual corals without removing them from their habitat? By using a newly developed underwater microscope. In a paper published in Nature Communications, researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego describe the creation of what they're calling a Benthic Underwater Microscope.
FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2015 file photo, fish swim over a patch of bleached coral in Hawaii's Kaneohe Bay off the island of Oahu. American scientists announced Monday, June 19, 2017, that a record global coral reef bleaching event has finally ended after three deadly years. About three-quarters of the world's delicate coral reefs were damaged or killed by hot water in what scientists say was the largest coral catastrophe in severity, time and amount of area affected.