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Intel, Mayo Clinic making chip for intelligent football helmets

Posted: 19 Nov 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:helmet? protective equipment? Head Impact Telemetry System?

Intel collaborates with several industry experts to enhance football helmet safety by using Intel technology-based supercomputers and workstations to simulate a human brain�s reaction to collisions. It is working with Mayo Clinic on faster diagnostics of medical scans using upcoming supercomputing chip design called ?Intel MIC?.

Intel, working with Riddell, the designer and developer of helmets and protective equipment, as well as with other university researchers demonstrated simulations during an event at the SC10 conference in New Orleans. In the demonstration, simulated impacts were processed on Intel Xeon -based workstations and clusters to quickly compute, visualize and assess the risk of injury in an impact event. The simulations were based on computer models from partner universities, some of which include actual data from on-field impacts using the Riddell HITS (Head Impact Telemetry System), a proprietary in-helmet technology which provides real-time data on head impacts. These models exhibit visualization of the stresses on the brain and enable comparisons between impacts that are found to result in a concussion and similar impacts that cause no injury.

Intel is also working with the Mayo Clinic to accelerate the ability to process medical scans. In this application, such cranial scans running on "Intel Many Integrated Core" (MIC) architecture co-processors were accelerated by up to 18x.

�Computer simulations have been instrumental in designing improved brain injury criteria,? said Dr. Igor Szczyrba with the University of Northern Colorado. �In the near future, they can also help doctors diagnose actual brain injuries.?

Also during the SC10 conference , Intel further discussed future technologies, based on its Intel Atom processors, which could be embedded in helmets and wirelessly relay data into servers and cloud networks which measure injury risk and impact in real-time. If combined with impact simulation, this could better safeguard players by identifying potential injuries quickly so that medical personnel can respond sooner and have information as soon as they reach the player on the field.

Intel, with its Intel Xeon chip-based supercomputers, has been a pioneer in using parallel processing to solve complex problems. Some of this urgent and groundbreaking research is made possible by Intel MIC architecture, which could run up to trillions of calculations per second, and includes in its targets high-performance computing segments such as scientific research, exploration and climate modeling. The first Intel MIC product, codenamed �Knights Corner,? will be built on Intel�s 22nm manufacturing process.

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