Intel Unveils Technology for Cars; Chip Maker, Seeking New Revenue Sources, Shows Off Entertainment, Navigation Tool

Intel Unveils Technology for Cars

Chip Maker, Seeking New Revenue Sources, Shows Off Entertainment, Navigation Tool

DON CLARK

Updated May 29, 2014 11:29 p.m. ET

Intel Corp. INTC +1.21% , continuing a search for additional revenue sources, is stepping up efforts to place its technology into cars.

The Silicon Valley company on Thursday is unveiling what it describes as an “in-vehicle solutions platform,” which includes a circuit board with an Intel processor that comes prepackaged with special-purpose software. Intel hopes the combination can provide a foundation for applications such as digital entertainment and navigation, the company said.

By integrating and testing the hardware and software, Intel says it can help auto makers and their suppliers trim as much as 12 months off the time needed for development projects.

What technology will power the intelligent car of the future? Doug Davis, vice president of Intel’s Internet of Things group, joins Lunch Break with Lee Hawkins. Photo: Intel.

Elliot Garbus, a vice president and general manager of Intel’s automotive solutions group, noted that the technology it developed includes a new variant of the Linux operating system targeted at auto applications.

That is a somewhat surprising decision, since Intel’s Wind River Systems unit has long sold software used in cars. Intel also has collaborated with groups that have developed other auto-oriented versions of Linux.

“We are creating another option, which offers some compelling advantages,” said Mr. Garbus, while noting that Intel will keep supporting other software targeting the auto market.

Intel, facing a slowdown in chips used in personal computers, has been moving into new fields such as chips for wearable computing. Though it has long sold to auto makers and their suppliers, the company faces many entrenched rivals in the market, including Freescale Semiconductor Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc.TXN +0.20%

The company has leaned on its big venture-capital unit to try to bolster its position. In 2012, Intel announced a $100 million “connected car” fund to sink money into startups in the field.

For example, Mr. Garbus said, Intel has invested an undisclosed amount in ZMP Inc., a Japanese companies that has developed autonomous driving technology that makes use of sensors, radars and cameras.

Intel, which employs staff anthropologists to study how people use technology, on Thursday is also discussing research it is funding in the auto field. One project, called “Secure My Car,” focuses on the potential security flaws in vehicle electronics and how to address them, the company said.

Though Intel’s short-term focus is getting into today’s car dashboards and control panels, Mr. Garbus said its long-term goal is to provide processors for self-driving cars—a field exemplified lately by Google Inc., GOOGL -0.30% which on Tuesdayunveiled its first autonomous car prototype.

An Intel spokeswoman declined to comment on individual customers, but she added that the company’s technology is already in autonomous cars.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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