Intel Plans for an FPGA Code Library

What are Intel’s plans for the future?

Let’s take a look at what Intel has already done. It’s certainly moving away from the PC, smartphone, and tablet arena. In 2015, Intel acquired Altera FPGA. While some analysts believe Intel overpaid for the company – paid a record $16.7 billion to complete the acquisition, it was still a smart and calculated move.

Even before the acquisition, Intel had already worked with Altera so the company was not entering murky waters. Plus, FPGA are a very versatile electronic component. Low-end FPGA are used to mass produce consumer electronic devices and are necessary to power phones, tablets and touch-based screens. High-end FPGA are certainly more lucrative and can be applied to a number of end-industries. High-end FPGA are used at major companies like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter to power their servers. Bing certainly relies on FPGA to power the hardware behind its image searches.

The current biggest trend for FPGA is the market for autonomous cars. FPGA are ideal components for the hardware. They are reprogrammable and they can process large amounts of data within several seconds – this is necessary for any self-driving platform.

FPGA are also used to power the hardware in the telecommunication industry, enabling the transport of data, video feeds, and powering up networks which require a high bandwidth and low latency.

This August, Intel completed another acquisition. In a deal worth over $350 million, Intel acquired artificial intelligence and deep-learning company, Nervana Systems. Nervana’s technology will be used to power up Intel’s AI portfolio and advance the company’s foray into deep learning and further advance its Xeon processors.

Intel also has plans to build a code library of sorts. The libraries will contain pre-built code that developers can use to power their PCBs. The goal is to build a knowledge base and to give developers a platform that already contains the basics.

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