Rick Merritt

Based in San Jose, Rick writes news and analysis about the electronics industry and the engineering profession for EE Times. He is the editor of the Android, Internet of Things, Wireless/Networking, and Medical Designlines. He joined EE Times in 1992 as a Hong Kong based reporter and has served as editor in chief of EE Times and OEM Magazine.

China Sees U.S. Ahead in AI

While some engineers — and politicians — in the U.S. express concerns that China is getting ahead of them in AI, engineers in China appear to have similar concerns about their U.S. counterparts. A look at the most popular AI stories in our sister publication EE Times China in the period from Nov. 25, 2018,…

It’s Still Early Days for AI

“We need to get to real AI because most of today’s systems don’t have the common sense of a house cat!” The keynoter’s words drew chuckles from an audience of 3,000 engineers who have seen the demos of systems recognizing photos of felines. There’s plenty of room for skepticism about AI. Ironically, the speaker in…

Kamen Aims to Deliver AI to FedEx

Like much of the tech industry, Dean Kamen and his team are getting pulled into the matrix of AI. “ I’ve spent 35 years building medical equipment, insulin pumps, and critical life-support systems … [using] well-understood algorithms with closed-loop control,” said Kamen in an interview. “We have not used neural nets or AI for any…

AI Trolls for Data Center Woes

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is using neural networks to predict failures on some of the 4 million hard drives that its InfoSight service monitors. The project taught HPE that using neural networks takes time, specialized expertise, and some big iron. The first challenge of the ongoing program was curating data sets on failures of select models of…

AI Silicon Sprouts in the Dark

The potential for new architectures to accelerate deep learning is enormous. So far, only one novel chip has been fully described and benchmarked — Google’s TPU — but the pipeline is full and a few of the techniques are becoming clear. The jungle is dense with possibilities. They include analog computing, a variety of emerging…

RISC-V Climbs Software Mountain

Now that RISC-V has established a beachhead as a deeply embedded controller in systems-on-chip, it’s time to start asking the next question: Can this open-source instruction set architecture (ISA) make the next big leap into being an alternative to Arm and the x86 as a host processor? The short answer is yes, but it could…

SiFive Sees Big Year for RISC-V By

If Naveed Sherwani gets his way, 2019 will be a year to remember for startup SiFive, the RISC-V architecture, and maybe even the whole semiconductor industry. By the end of the year, SiFive could have cores that span the range of its entrenched rival Arm, said Sherwani, who in late 2017 was named CEO of…

Toshiba, Dell Bring AI into the Building

Consortium’s testbed shows promises, pitfalls SAN JOSE, Calif. — Deep learning can make even a modern smart building a little smarter. A three-year project at a new Toshiba building in Japan cost nearly $4 million but eked out single-digit gains, according to results from a testbed run by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). The work…

AI Edges to Factory Floor

Smart cameras are first step for industrial deep learning SAN JOSE, Calif. — Deep neural networks are crawling toward the factory floor. For several early adopters, neural nets are the new intelligence embedded behind the eyes of computer-vision cameras. Ultimately, the networks will snake their way into robotic arms, sensor gateways, and controllers, transforming industrial…