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AMD has its eyes on Las Vegas with Polaris GPUs

AMD has its eyes on Las Vegas with Polaris GPUs

AMD and Qualcomm are now modifying CPUs and GPUs for non-PC devices

AMD wants its new Polaris GPUs to dazzle gamblers in Las Vegas using electronic devices.

Qualcomm, meanwhile, wants its embedded Snapdragon chips to be installed in robots, drones, and smart devices used in homes and for commercial applications.

For both chipmakers, the internet of things market is becoming too big to ignore. The companies this week announced CPUs and GPUs adapted from PCs and mobile devices for use in IoT devices.

AMD adapted its Polaris GPU architecture, which is used in discrete GPUs and PC chips, for the IoT sector. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 600E and 410E are compact chips originating from the company's mobile processor designs.

A goal with the new chips is to bring richer multimedia to non-PC devices. Robots and drones need to be able to analyze images to navigate or recognize objects, and GPUs can provide the necessary horsepower. Robots are also being used in factories to identify defective products and to complete other quality-control tasks.

Surveillance systems also are getting sophisticated, with the ability to recognize faces and identify people in crowds. GPUs are getting more powerful in those systems.

AMD's Embedded Radeon E9260 and E9550 GPUs are discrete units that can be plugged into IoT devices. With 4K graphics encoding and decoding capabilities, the GPUs are targeted at gaming machines, digital signs, and retail kiosks, which typically use splashy graphics.

AMD's IoT chips have found success in Pachinko gambling parlors in Japan, but the company also has its eyes on U.S. casinos. AMD is chasing selected markets with its limited resources, and casinos represent a lucrative opportunity.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 600E is an integrated chip with quad-core 32-bit ARM-based processors. It has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and GPS capabilities. It can support full HD video, and devices can be set up to include SD slots, HDMI ports, and eMMC and SATA storage.

The Snapdragon 410E has a slower CPU and less powerful graphics processor. It comes with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon and AMD's Polaris GPU will ship later this year. It'll be possible to buy the Qualcomm chips directly from vendors like Arrow Electronics.


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