Yesterday a press release from Intel hit my desk about how the company invests $1 billion in the AI ecosystem. Upon closer look, it appears Intel was mainly talking about investments it made in the past so my first sense about this news release was that Intel felt the need to scream "me too!".
Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest buzz words of the moment, a lot of researchers are working on exciting AI-based systems and the share price of NVIDIA hit a new all-time high of $191.20 on Tuesday as analysts see AI as a major potential profit tailwind for NVIDIA.
A second surprise announcement from Intel is the chip giant's claim that it has been working with Google on self-driving car technology since 2009. In a new blog post, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich reveals Google's Waymo unit uses Intel-based technologies for sensor processing, general compute and connectivity.
The chip giant provides Xeon processors, Arria FPGAs and Gigabit Ethernet solutions. But the extent of the partnership is not clear, both Intel and Waymo refuse to share more details so we don't know if it goes much further than just selling (semi-custom?) chips to Google. We do know this announcement has nothing to do with Intel's Mobileye alliance as Google is developing its own in-house platform.
What remains a mystery is which chips Waymo uses to run its self-driving algorithms. There's no evidence this critical part of the Waymo self-driving platform is Intel-based.