In a partnership that is being called "unprecedented," technology giants Microsoft and Intel will jointly spend $20 million over five years to fund Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The focus of the joint research project will be unleashing the potential of multi-core computer chips. Practical applications that are predicted to come from this research include voice recognition software that can record witness testimony in courtroom procedures and mobile telephone technology that would recognize the faces of approaching acquaintances and whisper their names to users. "This is a once-in-a-career opportunity to recast the foundations of information technology and influence the entire IT industry for decades to come," says David Patterson, UC Berkeley professor of computer sciences. UIUC will contribute $8 million to the partnership, and UC Berkeley has applied for $7 million from a state sponsored program to match industry grants.
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