Intel today announced two separate rounds of investment totaling about $50 million. The largest chunk of money is targeted at cloud computing and embedded technology, while other investments are focused on Chinese firms.
A total of $30 million is going to Intel Labs' latest Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTC) at Carnegie Mellon University. Cloud computing research at the new ISTC includes an effort to make the cloud more distributed and localized.
"In the future, [new] capabilities could enable a digital personal handler via a device wired into your glasses...[it would see] what you see [and] constantly pull data from the cloud and whisper information to you during the day--telling you who people are, where to buy an item you just saw, or how to adjust your plans when something new comes up," Intel said in a statement.
The embedded computing ISTC center investment is aimed at home, car, and retail devices. "A key area of research is to make it easier for these everyday devices to continuously collect, analyze, and act on useful data from both sensors and online databases...For example, in cars, this data could be used to customize in-vehicle entertainment options when specific passengers are recognized, and provide them better routing, retail, dining, and entertainment recommendations while on-the-road," Intel said.
Intel is also opening up the submission process for future ISTCs. "Starting today, Intel expands the ISTC program into a new phase by openly inviting researchers from across the U.S. academic community to submit information to be considered in the process to define additional ISTCs," the chipmaker said.
In a separate series of funding moves, Intel said it invested $22 million in three Chinese firms through Intel Capital, its venture capital arm. Those companies are 6DXchange Inc. (6DX), Beijing JoySee Technology, and Shanghai BOCOM Intelligent Network Technologies.
Shanghai-based 6DX, which operates YaoDian100.com, is a B2C (business-to-consumer) fashion and lifestyle e-retailer in China. JoySee does research and development of high-definition smart TV and cable smart set top boxes. BOCOM is a provider of intelligent sensing and networking technologies, focusing on digital security and surveillance, ITS, and Telematics.