Every year, this microprocessor manufacturer celebrates the[email protected] Dayat its Californian headquarters, an event that brings together hundreds of its researchers from all over the world. In its latest edition, they presented more than 70 projects related to health care, the environment and wireless mobility, among others, many of which will be presented in the markets shortly.
In this authentic temple of high technology, one of the inventions that attracts the most attention is a device that monitors the motor activity and tremor of people who sufferParkinson. The patient, without having to leave home, must regularly perform a series of exercises on the device, which processes the results and immediately sends them to the doctor, who can thus follow the progression of the disease. According to the engineers behind the contraption, one day it will allow to obtain a large amount of data that will help anticipate the diagnosis of this disease and choose the most appropriate treatment in each case.
Another innovation is avideo surveillance system for people with mobility problems, like the elderly, who are at high risk of falling. By analyzing their gait, it is possible to warn them of how their balance is throughout the day and whether it is advisable for them to stop doing activities.
But perhaps the most spectacular projects are those linked to visual environments, which arise from the development of theteracomputation, that is to say, of the capacity of the new chips to carry out more than a trillion operations per second (1 teraflops). Thanks to new printing and circuit design techniques and the miniaturization of components, microprocessors can incorporate more and more cores that work in parallel and confer extraordinary computing power. Intel already has a prototype, theTeraflop Research Chip-also know asPolaris– with 80 cores integrated in a board of only 275 mm2, each of which has 100 million transistors and five intercom ports. But the best thing is how little it consumes: at a frequency of 3.16 GHz the chip only uses 62 W.
With the support of a few cores you can recreate any scenario in 3D, interactive and with hyper-realistic quality, find among thousands of photographic or video files those in which a cat, a beach or a childhood friend appears, or integrate in the car aartificial vision system that makes driving easier and safer. Intel develops more than 100 projects related to teracomputing and visual applications, dedicated to improving hardware and adapting software to new needs.
Today we can find Intel® Core microprocessorsTM, with two and four cores, in the guts of our home computers. They perform much more and consume much less than their predecessors, since they incorporate an “intelligent” energy management system, which basically consists of disconnecting what the user is not using, which represents an annual saving of up to 90 %. But if the graphic quality that these computers offer seems surprising, in a very few years consumer computing will be revolutionized by the new terachips.
Texts: Alicia Moreno / Photos: courtesy of Intel