Category: nvidia

June 5, 2019 Off

This year’s Computex was a wild ride with dueling chip releases, new laptops and 467 startups

By Jill T Frey

After a relatively quiet show last year, Computex picked up the pace this year, with dueling chip launches by rivals AMD and Intel and a slew of laptop releases from Asus, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Lenovo and other companies.

Founded in 1981, the trade show, which took place last week from May 28 to June 1, is one of the ICT industry’s largest gatherings of OEMs and ODMs. In recent years, the show’s purview has widened, thanks to efforts by its organizers, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and Taipei Computer Association, to attract two groups: high-end computer customers, such as hardcore gamers, and startups looking for investors and business partners. This makes for a larger, more diverse and livelier show. Computex’s organizers said this year’s event attracted 42,000 international visitors, a new record.

Though the worldwide PC market continues to see slow growth, demand for high-performance computers is still being Read the rest

May 27, 2019 Off

Nvidia announces its Studio line of laptops to compete against the MacBook Pro

By Jill T Frey

During its press conference in Taipei a day before Computex starts, Nvidia announced a new line of laptops that will run its RTX graphics processing units, as well as a new software platform called Studio, with SDKs and drivers to make graphics rendering and other tasks faster. The units are targeted to creative professionals, like video editors, photographers and graphic designers, and meant to compete with the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

One of Nvidia’s new Studio laptops, meant to compete against the MacBook Pro

The series will include seventeen laptops made by Nvidia’s manufacturing partners (including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Gigabyte, HP, MSI and Razer). The laptops will begin retailing in June, with prices starting at $1,599.

The 17 laptops will be equipped with Quadro RTX 5000, 4000 or 3000 GPUs or GeForce RTX 2080, 2070 and 2060 GPUs. Nvidia claims they can perform up to seven times faster than the MacBook … Read the rest

May 22, 2019 Off

Getaround, Facebook, AI chips, Nvidia, Africa, and immigration

By Jill T Frey

Who helped your startup grow? Nominate a growth marketing agency.

For those who have been members of Extra Crunch for a while now, you have seen us go through two cycles of Verified Experts, covering startup attorneys and brand designers. Now, we turn our attention to our third community of startup professionals: growth marketers / hackers. Growth is the single most important objective of any startup, and so these professionals can have an outsized impact on which companies grow, and by how much.

Yvonne Leow is leading our search for the best growth marketers out there, as rated by founders. Worked with someone yourself? Impressed by the growth of a friend’s startup? Let us know with this handy form and get ready for new profiles in the coming weeks.

The Exit: Getaround’s $300M roadtrip

Our SF-based reporter Lucas Matney published his second piece in his “The Exit” series … Read the rest

May 20, 2019 Off

When will customers start buying all those AI chips?

By Jill T Frey

It’s the best and worst time to be in semiconductors right now. Silicon Valley investors are once again owning up to their namesakes and taking a deep interest in next-generation silicon, with leading lights like Graphcore in the United Kingdom hitting unicorn status while weirdly named and stealthy startups like Groq in the Bay Area grow up.

Growth in chips capable of processing artificial intelligence workflows is expected to swell phenomenally over the coming years. As Asa Fitch at the Wall Street Journal noted yesterday, “Demand for chips specialized for AI is growing at such a pace the industry can barely keep up. Sales of such chips are expected to double this year to around $8 billion and reach more than $34 billion by 2023, according to Gartner projections.”

Yet, all those rosy projections don’t suddenly make the financial results of companies like Nvidia any easier to swallow. The … Read the rest

May 16, 2019 Off

Unveiling its latest cohort, Alchemist announces $4 million in funding for its enterprise accelerator

By Jill T Frey

The enterprise software and services-focused accelerator Alchemist has raised $4 million in fresh financing from investors BASF and the Qatar Development Bank, just in time for its latest demo day unveiling 20 new companies.

Qatar and BASF join previous investors, including the venture firms Mayfield, Khosla Ventures, Foundation Capital, DFJ and USVP, and corporate investors like Cisco, Siemens and Juniper Networks.

While the roster of successes from Alchemist’s fund isn’t as lengthy as Y Combinator, the accelerator program has launched the likes of the quantum computing upstart Rigetti, the soft-launch developer tool LaunchDarkly and drone startup Matternet .

Some (personal) highlights of the latest cohort include:

  • Bayware: Helmed by a former head of software-defined networking from Cisco, the company is pitching a tool that makes creating networks in multi-cloud environments as easy as copying and pasting.
  • MotorCortex.AI: Co-founded by a Stanford engineering professor and a Carnegie Mellon roboticist, the company
Read the rest
April 26, 2019 Off

Nintendo and Sony temper console expectations ahead of E3

By Jill T Frey

E3’s just over a month away, and per usual, the news in the lead up has offered more insight into what we won’t be hearing about at the big gaming show. Late last year, Sony announced that it would be skipping its big annual press conference at the event. The move marks a key absence for the gaming giant for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century, as the company will instead be “exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019.”

The sentiment should ring familiar for those who follow the gaming industry. Several years ago Nintendo made a similar move, eschewing the in-person press conference for the online Nintendo Direct “Treehouse” it uses to showcase new trailers. It’s a method Nintendo has held to ever since.

Game publisher Square Enix this week happily slid into Sony’s prime-time slot, leaving Microsoft the last of … Read the rest

April 25, 2019 Off

Internet connectivity projects unite as Alphabet spinout Loon grabs $125M from SoftBank’s HAPSMobile

By Jill T Frey

Two futuristic projects are coming together to help increase global internet access after Loon, the Google spinout that uses a collection of floating balloons to bring connectivity to remote areas, announced it has raised money from a SoftBank initiative.

HAPSMobile, a SoftBank project that is also focused on increasing global connectivity, is investing $125 million into Loon, according to an announcement from SoftBank made this morning. The agreement includes an option for Loon to make a reciprocal $125 million investment in HAPSMobile and it includes co-operation plans, details of which are below.

HAPSMobile is a one-year-old joint venture between SoftBank and U.S. company AeroVironment . The company has developed a solar-powered drone that’s designed to deliver 5G connectivity in the same way Facebook has tried in the past. The social network canceled its Aquila drone last year, although it is reported to have teamed up with Airbus for new trials … Read the rest

April 23, 2019 Off

Check out all the demos from TC Sessions: Robotics + AI

By Jill T Frey

We’re incredibly proud of the programming we put together for this year’s TC Sessions: Robotics + AI. It’s my personal favorite TechCrunch event and I think this year’s way easily our best.

We had top names in the industry like Marc Raibert, Claire Delaunay, Colin Angle, Anthony Levondowski and Melonee Wise join us onstage. But a robotics event is nothing without actual robots, and this year’s demo lineup was every bit as stacked as our speaker list.

It was an exciting collection, from the latest version of Spot Mini to a mobility robot designed to help children with cerebral palsy walk.

Of course, we understand that not everyone was able to pack into Zellerbach Hall last Thursday. And even those who were will likely want a second look at the many robots we had onstage at the UC Berkeley event.

So here are the many impressive robots we had … Read the rest