Chip giant Intel has announced a partnership with the Beijing Municipal Government and the Institute of Automation of Chinese Academy of Sciences which will concentrate on research related to the Internet of Things (IoT.)
The deal will see the three groups create the China Intel Internet of Things Joint Labs, a research and development centre designed to create the core technologies required for the Internet of Things.
For those unfamiliar with the term, the Internet of Things is the common name given to the push to create a globe-spanning sensor network capable of monitoring things as gross as climate change and as microscopic as the life-cycle of product packaging. By increasing the amount of data gathered, the theory goes, efficiency can be improved and our quality of life increases.
Announced at the Intel Developer Forum in China today, the deal will see around £20 million invested in research and development of the core technologies for powering the Internet of Things. It's an obvious move for Intel: as one of the biggest chip makers around, it can't afford to be caught on the hop if a lucrative new market emerges.
'The China Intel IoT joint labs is the largest of its kind that Intel has participated in research collaboration in China, and it is unique in that Intel not only contributed funding but also employees as dedicated senior research leaders,' Intel Labs vice president Jesse Fang explained at the announcement. 'New applications from personalised energy management to smart traffic control to smart cities will be made possible by the research conducted at these labs.'
Intel isn't alone in looking towards the Internet of Things as the next frontier in computing, however. Earlier this year the Technology Strategy Board announced that it would be awarding grants of up to £50,000
to ten British companies working in the same area. Likewise, rival chipmaker Qualcomm has its own projects in the same field - including the open-source peer-to-peer networking infrastructure AllJoyn