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Intel Works on Faster Computer Chip Technology

Intel's new computer chip, due out later this year, uses hafnium rather than silicon in its transistors. This innovation will double the number of transistors that can fit on a chip, Intel says, leading to faster and more powerful computers.

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  • SPENCER MICHELS, NewsHour Correspondent:

    Human interaction between the real world — in this case, me — and the virtual world — in this case, the bouncing ball stored on the computer — is possible today using a standard personal computer.


    It's imaging the movement of your hand. It's watching for surfaces that move along. It's tracking the position of each ball. It's also tracking the rotation. We've imposed gravity on these balls. You notice they sink.


    Technology manager Jerry Bautista runs an experimental lab at Intel, the world's largest maker of computer chips. Those chips are the brains of a computer. And the more powerful they are, the more they can do.

    Bautista considers this display, although impressive, relatively elementary. A more complicated task, like recognizing faces in a crowd, is what he's working on.

    This is a simulation of a program that recognizes facial characteristics of actors in a Korean soap opera. More than 20 computers were used to make it. Eventually, the company expects to use a single computer to achieve this effect. Nice for soap opera fans, but Intel's Bautista says there are more serious applications on the horizon.


    Now, think about security. So you're in an airport. You have an Interpol database of people you're trying to find. You have a sea of people walking around you, so you want to find a person.

    Then you want to assess what they're doing. What is their intent? Do they look agitated? And that level of artificial intelligence is much more sophisticated and requires a lot more computer horsepower than we have today.

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