Intel says its new chip can power 'electronic nose systems' that can smell bombs, narcotics, and even diseases
- Intel has developed a new chip capable of smelling bombs, narcotics and even diseases.
- The new chip can be used for national security and medical diagnostics, and underscores Intel's aggressive bid to develop new processors that can meet the more intensive computing demands of the cloud, and of advanced AI systems.
- The technology, a joint effort with Cornell University, was unveiled for the first time in Nature Machine Intelligence.
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Intel says it has developed a new chip that can detect bombs, narcotics and even diseases.
The tech giant on Monday said that its neuromorphic test chip, dubbed Loihi, can learn to detect specific odors by using algorithms that mimic the way a brain works.
The technology, which was a joint effort with Cornell University, was the subject of a paper published Monday in Nature Machine Intelligence. It underscores Intel's aggressive push to develop new chips that can meet the more intensive computing demands of fast-growing technologies led by the cloud and AI.
"This work is a prime example of contemporary research at the crossroads of neuroscience and artificial intelligence," Nabil Imam, senior research scientist in Intel's Neuromorphic Computing Lab, said in a statement.
The Intel chip is designed to detect and analyze at a higher level of detail, making it far more sophisticated than other traditional systems today.
Intel compared its capability to those of regular smoke and carbon monoxide detectors used in the home which "use sensors to detect odors but they cannot distinguish between them. They beep when they detect harmful molecules in the air but are unable to categorize them in intelligent ways."
Imam said the chip offers "important sensing capabilities that could benefit various industries." For example, the chip could be used for medical diagnostics.
"Certain diseases emit specific odors from the patient, therefore creating the potential to utilize chemical sensing in medical diagnosis," Intel said. The chip could also be used for "electronic nose systems, devices used at airports and borders for detecting security threats such as "hazardous substances, bombs or narcotics."
Intel also cited the "potential for future robots, equipped with Loihi brains, to conduct environmental monitoring and hazardous materials detection."
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