Intel Labs invests $30 million in the cloud, embedded computing

Investment part of $100 million Intel Science and Technology research program

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With a goal of pushing the development of cloud computing and embedded computing, Intel Labs on Wednesday announced a $30 million investment to open two new Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTC) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Intel Labs said the funding is aimed at "shaping the future of cloud computing and how increasing numbers of everyday devices will add computing capabilities."

The $30 million investment will be spread over a five-year period and is part of a larger $100 million program intended to accelerate innovation and foster more university research in several technology areas. Intel announced the ISTC program in January and already has set up a research center at Stanford University to focus on next-generation visual computing.

In a statement announcing the cloud research funding, Intel CTO Justin Rattner said, "These new ISTCs are expected to open amazing possibilities. Imagine, for example, future cars equipped with embedded sensors and microprocessors to constantly collect and analyze traffic and weather data. That information could be shared and analyzed in the cloud so that drivers could be provided with suggestions for quicker and safer routes."

Intel said researchers will explore technology expected to have important implications for the cloud, including "built-in application optimization, more efficient and effective support of big data analytics on massive amounts of online data, and making the cloud more distributed and localized by extending cloud capabilities to the network edge and even to client devices."

The second center at Carnegie will focus on the development of embedded computing systems in everyday devices that could support numerous applications. Intel suggests that in the future, "these capabilities could enable a digital personal handler via a device wired into your glasses that sees what you see, to 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."

Now that's a pungent mix of intriguing and vaguely creepy.

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