New details emerge on Amazon's Blink acquisition

New details emerge on Amazon's Blink acquisition

Previously, analysts had pegged the acquisition to be an element of Amazon Key, a new initiative where shoppers can set up a smart lock and surveillance camera so delivery staff can send over packages even when they are away from their homes. This effort could be seen as Amazon following the footsteps of Google and Apple that are involved in developing similar chips. The Information notes that Amazon's purchase of Annpurna Labs, an Israeli chipmaker and the security camera company Blink, both point to the development of its own AI chips to power more on-device processing on Echo devices.

Alexa promises to speed things up soon following reports that Amazon is working on its own processing chip that will power the smart assistant's artificial intelligence (AI) features.

Right now, the chips in today's Alexa-powered devices can only handle a select few words, like the various wake words used to summon Alexa. The new technology would reduce the delay in response for simple tasks where Alexa doesn't have to pull in information from outside services, like checking the time or turning on connected lights.

Echo Dot made a random shopping order all on its own after an ad activated its digital assistant Alexa.


"These days, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to develop a custom AI chip with all of the open-market options out there, from training solutions from Nvidia and AMD to inference solutions from Qualcomm, ARM and Intel", Moorhead said.

Smart speakers have found their way into millions of homes since Amazon released the first-generation Echo in 2014.

Amazon acquired Blink late a year ago, a maker of affordable, easy to use security cameras powered by AA batteries. The company ditched its long-time GPU producer past year to create the in-house graphics chips found in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

Additionally, let's address the elephant in the room, if an AI chip "knew" the personal stuff, it wouldn't have to be in the cloud and that is probably going to be just that bit better for your privacy.

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