Watch Intel's CES 2018 keynote in under 10 minutes

Greg Lawrence
January 13, 2018

Two U.S. lawmakers are calling for an investigation into whether Intel's chief executive, Brian Krzanich, improperly sold company stock after learning of a serious security flaw in the tech giants' microchips before it was publicly disclosed.

"These reports are troubling not only because of the risk to almost all phones and computers, but also because these reports raise concerns of potential insider trading", the senators wrote.

The digitisation of almost everything is creating an explosion of both structured and unstructured data as well as the desire to collect, analyze and act on it. Intel, however, is downplaying the performance issues related to the patches.

There was also reference to the company's work in experimental computing architectures, including quantum computing. The news puts the company on a par with IBM, which recently unveiled a 50-qubit chip.

The second announcement was regarding Tangle Lake, which is a 49-qubit superconducting quantum test chip (image at the top).

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Previous Intel statements had added that the performance impact for the average computer user "should not be significant", and the company also released partner statements from Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google describing the impact with words like "not.meaningful", "not.noticeable", "no measurable reduction" and "negligible impact". Krzanich called it a major breakthrough and the next step to "quantum supremacy". While quantum computing has the potential to solve problems conventional computers can't handle, the field is still nascent. "We expect it will be five to seven years before the industry gets to tackling engineering-scale problems, and it will likely require 1-million or more qubits to achieve commercial relevance". Intel CEO Brian Krzanich attempted to tamp down worries during an opening keynote Monday, but questions remain.

Intel showcased it as an autonomous passenger taxi, which is powered by a battery and comes with 18-rotors.

The other Intel reveal was a Neuromorphic chip codenamed Loihi. Since 2015, Krzanich had methodically sold a small amount of stock on a monthly or quarterly basis, said Ben Silverman, a researcher at the firm.

In addition, he spoke about a neuromorphic research chip, code-named "Loihi", that will be shared with universities and research institutions to use with increasingly complex artificial intelligence (AI) workloads.

Currently Intel now has approximately two million cars from Volkswagen, Nissan and BMW using Road Experience Management tech developed by Mobileye in the crowdsourcing of data needed to build as well as rapidly update high-definition maps that are scalable and low-priced in the course of this year. Those maps would then be used by autonomous vehicles for navigation.

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