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Intel still is a huge powerhouse in the global CPU market

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May 10, 2017

Intel, the global behemoth of chips and processors, and the heart of computing announced today that it is ending its Intel Development Forum (IDF) annual event.

At the very same time, NVIDIA, the leader in GPUs and the fuel of Artificial Intelligence is holding its biggest Technology Conference annual event. Is that a coincidence? Not really.

With about a 96.2 percent market share in laptops, desktops and servers, Intel is far from even looking weak.

It is obviously adding to its strengths with strong indigenous high-density processing CPUs of its own, acquisition of budding AI chip vendors, pushing on storage-class memory, and advanced system interconnects.

Nonetheless, the end of CPU-dominated computing is almost here. Get ready for the new trend of computing with powerful and fast graphics processing units.

On any given day, GPUs make complex neural networks very practical and it turns out that after several years of slow progress in artificial intelligence, such algorithms were the missing ingredient to make AI effective across a range of practical needs.

And of course, NVIDIA was present as ever to finally greet this significant turn of events and has ridden it to a strong leadership.

Naturally, a fast-growing lucrative market means competition and a whole slew of new AI chips is just around the corner.

To be sure, Intel already has acquired Nervana and Movidius. Google has its TPU, and IBM its neuromorphic chip, TrueNorth.

Other AI chip initiatives include Mobileye (the firm is being acquired by Intel), Graphcore, BrainChip, TeraDeep, KnuEdge, Wave Computing, and Horizon Robotics.

Additionally, there are several well-publicized and respected projects like NeuRAM3, P-Neuro, SpiNNaker, Eyeriss, and Krtkl going after different parts of the market, even if some of those names don't sound familiar to you.

However, one element that truly distinguishes Nvidia from the rest of the pack is how it addresses several markets with a unique underlying platform. From automobiles to laptops to desktop to gaming to HPC to AI, the company manages to increase its global market with a minimal duplication of effort.

Make no mistake: Intel is still a huge force and market leader to contend with, but the world of computing is changing in profound ways, nevertheless.

Chips are once again in an area of extreme innovation. The industry is re-asserting itself in a most powerful manner, and the many market disruptions have only begun. This will be interesting.


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