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Intel Corp. is investing $12 million to create a new research center that will explore advanced graphics and visual computing technologies. Opening today, the Intel Visual Computing Institute is located at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany. The investment, to be made over 5 years, represents Intel's largest European university collaboration.

“Intel has collaborated with the world-class researchers at Saarland University in visual computing for a number of years. Given the growing importance of visual computing technology, it made perfect sense to expand our relationship and form this new institute,” said Justin Rattner, Intel senior fellow and chief technology officer.

A key mission of the latest member of Intel Labs Europe is to contribute to the company's tera-scale research program, which explores how multiple computing cores will be used to produce higher-performance computing and more life-like graphics.

The Intel Visual Computing Institute will deliver more compelling visual computing applications through the development of new software designs and architectures, visual computing algorithms and parallel computing solutions. The institute will establish a feedback loop to Intel's hardware design labs – including in Barcelona, Spain and Braunschweig, Germany – contributing to future visual computing hardware design. Current research contributions are expected to yield new software tools and hardware insights within just a few years.

The lab will conduct both basic and applied research in realistic, interactive computer graphics and natural user interfaces. By year's end the institute will employ about a dozen researchers from such sources as Intel, Saarland University, Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.

One of the new lab's charters is to actively solicit other academic and industry partners to join the research activities over time. The number of research professionals employed is expected to grow by more than five times over the next 5 years and include collaborators from across Europe.

Visual computing, by Intel’s definition, is the analysis, enhancement and display of visual information to create life-like, real-time experiences and more natural ways for people to interact with computers and other devices. Applications include games, medical imaging and interactive 3D data models used in areas such as scientific research and financial services. Intel's visual computing vision is to realize computer applications that look real, act real and feel real.

Tags: Intel, Larrabee, GPGPU

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