The Newest Addition To The Franchise Launches With An All-New, Action-Packed Gameplay Experience That Sees The Candy Crush World Go 3D For The First Time In Its History
– Candy Crush Friends Saga is now available to download and play worldwide from the Apple App Store, Google Play and Windows App Store
– The new game features a dynamic gameplay experience, introducing innovative 3D visuals, exciting features and new game modes
– For the first time in franchise history, the 3D characters play an integral role in the new game, helping players beat tricky blockers with their powers
– The new 3D world and characters in Candy Crush Friends Saga will be unveiled at a massive event in New York City, projecting live gameplay on a record-breaking scale
King, a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world and creators of one of the world’s most popular gaming franchises, Candy Crush, today launches its sweetest game to date – Candy Crush Friends Saga.
Now available to download and play worldwide from the Apple App Store, Google Play and Windows App Store, Candy Crush Friends Saga introduces players to a delicious, new 3D world where they will discover the latest features as they take on tasty new challenges around the Candy Kingdom. Players can also look forward to daily rewards and lots of sweet treats! These range from new characters, custom-designed outfits to dress them in, and boosters.
For the first time in the history of the franchise, the 3D characters play an integral role in the new game, helping players to beat those tricky levels with their unique powers. As players collect more of their favorite candies, the characters’ powers are activated, and they strategically throw boosters onto the game board to help you achieve sweet success. Now with rich backstories, each character has its own quirky personality and a set of tasty dance moves. They are your selfless teammates cheering you on and celebrating your successes – making this game sweeter than ever!
“We are very excited to officially launch Candy Crush Friends Saga – our sweetest game yet!” says Sebastian Knutsson, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at King. “We’re still so surprised and humbled by the success of the Candy Crush franchise. With each iteration, our teams work hard to innovate so that we can offer players a fresh new gaming experience. With Candy Crush Friends Saga, we wanted to immerse players in the game like never before and we feel that bringing the characters and their world to life in 3D will do just that. We hope people enjoy playing the game as much as we did making it!”
To celebrate the game’s release, Candy Crush Friends Saga will be unveiled at a world record-breaking event in New York City. Candy Crush Friends LIVE brings to life the new 3D world, characters and new game modes at the world’s largest 3D projection mapping show in New York City. Tickets are free but limited and available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/candy-crush-friends-live-tickets-50730215440.
The game launches with 380 delicious levels, and a range of challenging new game modes including:
- Free the Octopuses: Save the Octopuses from being stuck in the game board by making matches next to them to remove layers until they are freed
- Find the Animals: Save the animals which are hidden beneath ice tiles by making matches on top of them to crack the ice
- Spread the Jam: Spread jam across the board, covering as many tiles as possible
- Dunk the Cookies: Switch and match candies strategically to move the cookies until they dunk into the chocolate at the bottom of the board
- Collect the Hearts: Fill the heart shaped moulds to collect the hearts
For more information, please visit: Candycrushfriendssaga.com
NASA Begins America’s New Moon to Mars Exploration Approach in 2018
NASA welcomed a new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, deputy administrator, Jim Morhard, and chief financial officer, Jeff DeWit, in 2018. Their focus is on firmly establishing the groundwork to send Americans back to the Moon sustainably, with plans to use the agency’s lunar experience to prepare to send astronauts to Mars.
“Our agency’s accomplishments in 2018 are breathtaking. We’ve inspired the world and created incredible new capabilities for our nation,” Bridenstine said. “This year, we landed on Mars for the seventh time, and America remains the only country to have landed on Mars successfully. We created new U.S. commercial partnerships to land back on the Moon. We made breakthroughs in our quest to send humans farther into space than ever before. And, we contributed to remarkable advancements in aviation. I want to thank the entire NASA team for a fantastic year of American leadership in space, and I am confident we will build on our 2018 successes in 2019.
In 2018, NASA celebrated six decades of exploration, discoveries and cutting-edge technology development for the agency’s 60th anniversary on Oct. 1. Bridenstine said, “President Eisenhower launched our nation into the Space Age and President Kennedy gave us the charge to reach the Moon. Over six incredible decades, we have brought the world an amazing number of bold missions in science, aviation and human exploration. NASA and its workforce have never failed to raise the bar of human potential and blaze a trail to the future. We celebrate our legacy today with great promise and a strong direction from the President to return to the Moon and go on to Mars.”
The Office of the Chief Financial Officer received a successful clean audit in 2018 – the eighth consecutive clean financial audit opinion for the agency. In addition, DeWit led his Strategic Investments Division in working with the Government Accounting Office to pass an official Corrective Action Plan for only the second time in NASA’s history, which will increase accountability and transparency into the costs of large programs and proactively improve NASA’s program and project management activities.
On Dec. 11, NASA recently marked the one-year anniversary of Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1), which provided a directive for NASA to return humans to the surface of the moon for long-term exploration and utilization and pursue human exploration of Mars and the broader solar system. Two additional space policy directives were enacted this year by the White House, with SPD-2 in February helping ease the regulatory environment so entrepreneurs can thrive in space, and SPD-3 in June helping ensure the U.S. is a leader in providing a safe and secure environment as commercial and civil space traffic increases.
Moon to Mars
America’s return to the Moon will begin with U.S. commercial delivery services of small scientific instruments, followed by development of an infrastructure in orbit around the Moon to support human missions to the lunar surface, Mars and destinations beyond, for decades to come. Highlights from 2018 include:
- In October, NASA issued a call for lunar surface instruments and technology payloads that will fly to the Moon on commercial lunar landers as early as next year. On Nov. 29, the agency announced nine U.S. companies are eligible to bid on NASA delivery services to the lunar surface through Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contracts.
- After receiving more than 190 scientific abstracts from the research community, NASA hosted a conference in February for scientists across a variety of disciplines to discuss future exploration and research using the Gateway, a spacecraft that will orbit the Moon and support human and robotic missions.
- In an effort to lay the foundation for partnerships with U.S. industry in several aspects of Gateway development and operation, NASA issued in 2018 several requests for information and ideas from U.S. companies about the Gateway’s use and supply, as well as lunar payload transportation capabilities, and construction of its power and propulsion element.
- NASA continued to refine requirements for a U.S. habitat module for the Gateway and technology to use and process space-based resources through the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2).
The transportation system that will carry astronauts from Earth to the Gateway, and help build the structure in orbit, continued to take shape in 2018 with more flight hardware coming together around the country for the first launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft.
- NASA delivered the second piece of SLS flight hardware to its Kennedy Space Center in Floridaearlier this year. The Orion stage adapter will connect the spacecraft to SLS and will be loaded with 13 small satellites on the first mission.
- Engineers are completing final outfitting and assembly of the five major structural pieces of the SLS core stage at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
- Engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, are putting the finishing touches on the 30-foot-tall launch vehicle stage adapter, which will connect SLS’ core stage to the interim cryogenic propulsion stage delivered to Kennedy last year.
- Engineers at Kennedy installed Orion’s reentry heat shield
- ESA (European Space Agency) delivered to Kennedy the service module that will propel, power and cool Orion during the first integrated flight test with SLS – Exploration Mission 1.
- Workers at Kennedy also completed construction on the main flame deflector at Launch Pad 39B, and engineers installed the final umbilical on the mobile launcher before rolling the massive tower on Crawler-Transporter 2 to the pad.
It was a great year for robotic exploration of Mars, as well:
- NASA’s Curiosity rover identified fragments of complex organic molecules in the shallow surface of Mars, giving us further evidence that the Red Planet could have hosted life at one point.
- NASA launched and landed the first spacecraft to set down on the Red Planet since Curiosity arrived in 2012 – the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight). InSight touched down on Martian soil in November to study the planet’s interior and, just 10 days after landing, provided the first ever “sounds” of winds on Mars.
- NASA also announced the landing site for its next Red Planet rover, Mars 2020, which will continue the agency’s efforts to search for evidence of life and prepare for human arrival.
Other highlights in the agency’s progress this year in supporting the new Moon to Mars exploration approach include:
- More than 4,300 hours of testing completed on Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Hall thrusters.
- Orion pressure vessel for first crewed flight shipped to Kennedy.
- Final test of Orion’s parachute system.
- Preparation for test of Orion’s launch abort system.
- Several parts of SLS in production, or completed, for second mission.
- New series of SLS RS-25 engine test firings included nine tests of 3D-printed parts.
- First combination 3D printer and recycler launched to International Space Station to demonstrate new in-space manufacturing technology.
- NASA solicited new ways to manage trash on deep space missions.
- Ten companies chosen to conduct studies and advance technologies to collect and use space-based resources.
- 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge progressed as participating teams created digital models of Martian habitats and constructed and tested foundation prototypes.
Solar System and Beyond
In 2018, NASA bid farewell to two veteran science spacecraft, launched a record-breaking mission to the Sun, and continued to make discoveries with current missions and progress on future missions. Highlights from the year include:
- NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launched on the first-ever mission to “touch the Sun.” The mission broke records for fastest human-made object and closest approach to the Sun, and sent home its first light images – including a picture of Earth – in late October. Its first flight through the Sun’s outer atmosphere was on Nov. 7.
- After a two-year journey, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission arrived at its destination, the asteroid Bennu, on Dec. 3. One of the first observations from NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission revealed water locked inside the clays that make up Bennu.
- For only the second time in history, a human-made object reached the space between the stars. In December, NASA announced its Voyager 2 probe has exited the heliosphere – the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun.
- Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based observatories, astronomers found in June that Oumuamua, the first known interstellar object to travel through our solar system, had an unexpected speed boost and a change in trajectory. Scientists believe the object is a new type of comet.
- After nine years of searching for planets outside our solar system, NASA’s Kepler space telescope ran out of fuel, but not before scientists were able to use it, and Hubble, to find hints of what could be a moon orbiting another planet outside our solar system. If confirmed, this would be the first exomoon ever detected.
- NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), launched in April, continues the search for planets outside our solar system. The spacecraft, which began science operations in July, will survey the entire sky over the course of two years, searching for nearby exoplanets.
- NASA’s Dawn mission, which launched in 2007, also ran out of fuel this year, but not before becoming the first spacecraft to orbit two separate bodies in the solar system – the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. Among its many findings, Dawn helped scientists discover organics on Ceres and evidence that dwarf planets could have hosted oceans over a significant part of their history – and may still.
- The Independent Review Board established by NASA to assess progress on its James Webb Space Telescope unanimously recommended this year that development on the world’s premier science observatory should continue. NASA established a new 2021 launch date for Webb, and completed several critical tests and milestones in 2018, including vibration and acoustic tests and a simulation of the telescope’s complex communications. The two halves of Webb – the spacecraft and the telescope – were connected temporarily for a communications test during which they successfully “spoke” to each other.
- Newly analyzed data from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, collected two decades ago, indicate the magnetic field around the moon Ganymede makes it unlike any other in the solar system.
Humans in Space
In 2018, NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Scott Tingle, Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Anne McClainparticipated in their first spaceflight missions to the International Space Station, benefitting from the experience of three veteran astronauts Joe Acaba, Ricky Arnold, and Drew Feustel, who also completed missions aboard the space station this year. Here are ways humans in space were leading discovery and improving life on Earth in 2018:
- Crew members of Expeditions 54-58 supported more than 100 new U.S. science investigations, which use the unique orbiting laboratory to prepare for future missions to the Moon and Mars and improve life on Earth through research sponsored by the U.S. National Laboratory. In February, astronauts set a new record-setting week of research that surpassed 100 hours.
- Research conducted on station in 2018 included experiments to understand plants on Earth as well as plants growing in space, and new facilities that may help us to understand the materials needed for exploring the universe, the physiology of life in space and the basic elements of the universe itself.
- A testbed for technology, the space station now hosts the first combination 3D printer and recycler to demonstrate a new in-space manufacturing capability, Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) to help identify microbes aboard the space station, and the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM).
- Nine U.S. astronauts were assigned to Commercial Crew Program missions aboard the Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon. Both companies have begun final testing of their spacecraft and associated systems, and the first test flights are expected in 2019.
- Expedition 56 astronauts installed new cameras on the station in June to provide enhanced views of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon as they approach and dock to the station.
- NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, who were forced to abort their planned mission to the orbital laboratory, were reassigned to the Expedition 59 mission, targeted to launch Feb. 28, 2019.
- Successful commercial partnerships with Northrop Grumman and SpaceX for cargo resupply resulted in five missions delivering more than 32,000 pounds of critical supplies to the International Space Station, while the SpaceX Dragon capsule also returned more than 7,800 pounds of investigations and equipment to researchers on Earth.
- NASA began operating a new space communications satellite to support more than 40 NASA missions in low-Earth orbit as well as astronauts living in space on the orbital laboratory, enabling it to continue communications support well into the next decade.
- NASA continued to update the space communication and navigation networks that support 83 missions, returning data from the solar system, and beyond, back to Earth. This includes upgrading emergency communications ground stations that support the space station and refurbishing its Bermuda Tracking Station, which supports launches from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, and will support launches of commercial crew to the space station and Orion/SLS missions to the Moon from Florida. The agency also issued a call for studies to explore designs that incorporate commercial elements into future space relay services.
- NASA selected 13 companies to study the future of commercial human spaceflight in low-Earth orbit, including long-range opportunities for the International Space Station.
- NASA and its space station partners marked the 20th anniversary of the launch and construction of the first elements of the International Space Station.
NASA’s aeronautics team reached several major milestones in 2018 in its efforts to enable commercial supersonic air travel over land.
- In April, the agency awarded Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company a contract to build the Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) aircraft, designated the X-59, which will demonstrate quiet supersonic flight over land. In July, NASA signed an agreement with its French counterpart to collaborate on research predicting where sonic booms will be heard as supersonic aircraft fly overhead.
- In October, an X-59 model was tested in a wind tunnel at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia to collect data about the aircraft’s flight controls.
- In November, the X-59 project completed a rigorous review and the agency committed to the project’s funding and development timeline.
- Methods for measuring public perception of supersonic noise from the X-59 were tested over Galveston, Texas, using a NASA F/A-18 research jet.
Another major aeronautics focus was NASA’s ongoing work in Urban Air Mobility (UAM) – a safe and efficient system for passenger and cargo air transportation in and around urban areas.
- In May, NASA partnered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and industry to demonstrate new Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) concepts that help maintain safe spacing between drones beyond visual line-of-sight.
- In June, NASA’s remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft successfully flew in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft, relying on NASA-developed technology and moving the United States one step closer to normalizing unmanned aircraft operations in the national airspace.
- In November, the agency announced plans for a UAM Grand Challenge.
Throughout the year, NASA continued several other avenues of research to advance aerial vehicle technology:
- Engineers used a test stand called AirVolt to test the cruise motors that will power NASA’s first fully electric X-plane, the X-57.
- The agency looked into how icing affects jet engines at high altitudes.
- NASA completed a series of Acoustic Research Measurement flights that combined several technologies to achieve a greater than 70 percent reduction in airframe noise.
- Researchers furthered the ability to fly safely with newly configured, highly flexible wings by flying the X-56 to collect data on wing flutter models and ways to suppress it.
- NASA’s work in 2018 to help modernize and improve the nation’s air traffic management system was highlighted by the transfer to the FAA of NASA technology developed so aircraft arriving at busy airports can be managed more efficiently.
Technology drives exploration and, in 2018, NASA’s investments in space technology continued to advance our capabilities for future exploration missions. New technology tests, demonstrations and partnerships helped solve complex challenges needed to land, live and explore the Moon and Mars.
- NASA and the Department of Energy demonstrated a new nuclear reactor power system that could provide surface power on the Moon and Mars.
- A team of NASA engineers demonstrated a technology first: fully autonomous X-ray navigation in space, which could revolutionize NASA’s ability to pilot robotic spacecraft to the far reaches of the solar system and beyond.
- NASA announced 10 new lunar focused Tipping Point partnerships with six U.S. companies.
- The Robotic Refueling Mission 3 launched to the space station aboard a SpaceX rocket. The technology demonstration will store and transfer super-cold cryogenic fluid in space, helping mature capabilities for robotic satellite servicing and refueling.
- The Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray Antenna CubeSat mission advanced high-speed data downlink from space, a communications technology also used by two small satellites to relay InSight’s Mars landing data back to Earth.
- A small satellite achieved space-to-ground laser communications for the first time. The Optical Communication and Sensor Demonstration mission transmitted at a data rate of 100 megabits per second – 50 times greater than standard communications systems for spacecraft this size.
- NASA advanced additive manufacturing for rocket propulsion and successfully hot-fire tested a combustion chamber made using new 3D printing techniques.
- A team of engineers completed ground demonstrations of the autonomous capture portion of the Restore-L satellite servicing project.
- NASA’s three In-space Robotic Manufacturing and Assembly partners completed ground demonstrations of robotic arms, vision systems, additive techniques and other cutting-edge technologies to assemble structures in space.
- NASA’s Flight Opportunities program funded more than 40 payload flight demonstrations, providing opportunities for researchers to test new technologies and helping mature the suborbital flight industry.
- In September, the innovative heat shield technology, Adaptable Deployable Entry Placement Technology conducted a flight test.
- NASA awarded more than 550 small business contracts, totaling more than $180 million.
In 2018, NASA continued to use its global perspective of Earth from space to improve lives and revolutionize our understanding of how our planet works and is changing. By bringing together technology, science, and unique global observations, NASA provides societal benefits and strengthens our nation.
- In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists using an array of NASA satellite observations have mapped locations around the world where the availability of freshwater is changing. The study found that Earth’s wet land areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier.
- For the first time ever, measurements from NASA satellites are being used to help combat a potential outbreak of life-threatening cholera. Humanitarian teams in Yemen are targeting areas identified by a NASA-supported project that precisely forecasts high-risk regions based on environmental conditions observed from space.
- In November, NASA scientists and satellite data analysts worked daily to produce maps and damage assessments for disaster managers battling major wildfires near Los Angeles and in Northern California.
- Ice losses from Antarctica have tripled since 2012, causing sea levels to rise faster today than at any time in the past 25 years, according to a major international climate assessment funded by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency.)
- NASA launched the Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD), its first mission to provide unprecedented measurements of the temperature and composition of Earth’s upper atmosphere.
This past year, NASA celebrated a Year of Education on Station, during which teachers-turned-astronauts Joe Acaba and Ricky Arnold inspired thousands of students and educators through live events and video lessons from space.
NASA continues to offer educators and nonprofits low-cost opportunities to conduct research in space through its CubeSat Launch Initiative, including kicking off its 10th annual call for submissions, while NASA and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation are engaging K-12 students with a series of Future Engineers challenges.
As part of NASA’s 60th anniversary, NASA honored the legacy of the space shuttle Challenger crew by conducting Christa McAuliffe’s lesson plan on the space station.
By engaging in public events, including a National Symphony Orchestra Pops concert; “Space, the Next Frontier“ concert celebration at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; “Spirit of Apollo” tribute from Washington National Cathedral; First Man press junket and red-carpet screening; Space Symposium; USA Science & Engineering Festival; International Balloon Fiesta; International Observe the Moon Night; Awesome Con; and EAA AirVenture, more than five million people had the chance to interact with representatives of America’s space agency.
NASA’s digital communications team was honored with another Webby Award and four People’s Voice awards in 2018. NASA.gov, the agency’s primary website, received its third consecutive, and 10th overall, People’s Voice Award in the Government & Civil Innovation category. Web visitors continue to come to NASA not just for information on agency programs, but to learn about space in general. The site’s busiest day in 2018 was the Mars InSight landing in November, and the second-busiest was the Super Blue Blood Moon eclipse in January.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory received an Emmy Award in 2018 for Outstanding Original Interactive Program for its coverage of the Cassini mission’s Grand Finale at Saturn in September 2017.
NASA’s social media presence continued to grow in 2018, with more than 186.9 million total followers across all accounts and platforms. The agency has the most followers of any agency or department in the federal government on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Google+. The agency also hosted 25 NASA Socials this year, bringing together more than 880 followers who engage with NASA via social media for unique in-person experiences of exploration and discovery.
To see NASA’s For more about NASA’s missions, research and discoveries, visit:
Lenovo and Intel’s Much-anticipated Legion of Champions III 2019 is Here and Raring to Go
The third edition of the eSports tournament has commenced, with 12 gaming teams from 11 markets in the region competing for glory and the right to Asia’s gaming crown
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY), the world’s leading PC and smart device manufacturer, has announced the kick-off of its Legion of Champions Series III (LoC III) Grand Finals. In partnership with Intel, this eSports competition will bring together over 60 gaming talents from 11 markets across Asia Pacific, as they seek to be crowned 2019’s LoC III champions.
This year’s tournament is the biggest one yet, including first-time competitors India, Japan and Korea, in addition to Hong Kong / Macau, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailandand Vietnam. After multiple elimination rounds at the local level, in-market winners will face-off in an intense international showdown at Central Plaza Ladprao, Bangkok, from 25-27 January, 2019.
“LoC is a testament to Lenovo’s ongoing commitment to foster Asia’s gaming community. With eSports’ meteoric rise in legitimacy and influence in the region, our initiatives seek to further connect like-minded enthusiasts and empower the next generation of gamers,” said Ken Wong, President, Lenovo Asia Pacific. “Lenovo Legion was designed with gamers’ needs in mind and we will continue to provide the most exciting and relevant gaming experiences and devices.”
“With the rapid growth in Esports and gaming in Asia, Intel continues to support the industry through partnerships with the ecosystem, including global and regional gaming leagues such as Legion of Champions (LoC) with Lenovo, and provide the gaming community with the best-in-class gaming experience powered by Intel technologies,” said George Chacko, Global Account Director for Lenovo,Asia Pacific and Japan.
During the previous LoC, which was held earlier this year, the tournament had welcomed participation from close to 7,000 gamers and 20,000 on-site attendees. Such events have become crucial and valuable moments for Lenovo to interact with the community and better understand their gaming needs and motivations. The evolution of Lenovo Legion has been driven by feedback from the gaming community itself, with its latest innovations offering purposeful design to match the needs of the modern avid gamer – stylish and sophisticated on the outside, yet savage on the inside, delivering supreme performance for work and play.
“LoC has become an annual highlight of Asia’s gaming calendar, and we are thrilled to be a part of it for the first time,” said Rahul Agarwal, CEO and Managing Director, Lenovo India. “Our gaming product Legion has come a long way in nurturing the gaming community in India by providing them the chance to compete in an international championship.”
Local champions and grand finalists will be competing for a total combined prize pool of USD$35,000(approximately INR 25,16,000) – the largest of any LoC tournament yet. At the end of the competition, the winning team will walk away with USD$7,000 and USD$5,000 worth of Legion Y530 notebooks, while the first and second runners-up will take home USD$3,000 and USD$2,000, respectively.
Spectators can expect to experience the grit and tenacity of the gamers as they band together to seize the championship title. Those who wish to be part of the excitement may also take part in the Rise of Legion walk-in tournaments, LAN party, and cosplay contests. Follow the epic journey at https://www.legionloc.com/.
Graphcore Secures Lead in Global AI Chip Race With $200 Million in New Capital From BMW, Microsoft and Leading Financial Investors
Graphcore reaches $1.7Bn valuation with new funding from leading venture capital, financial and strategic investors including Atomico, BMW i Ventures, Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited, Microsoft, Sequoia and Sofina.
Graphcore, a world-leading AI chipmaker, has today announced a new $200 million funding round which values the company at $1.7 billion. BMW i Ventures and Microsoft have joined the round alongside new and existing investors.
This new funding brings the total capital raised by Graphcore to date to over $300M from the world’s leading venture capital, financial and strategic investors that also include Robert Bosch, Dell Technologies and Samsung Electronics.
Graphcore has built a completely new kind of processor and software for AI and machine intelligence. It has been shipping first products to early access customers and generated first revenues this year, just two years after the company was founded. High volume production is now ramping up to meet customer demand for its Intelligence Processor Unit (IPU) PCIe processor cards. Graphcore’s IPU is the first processor to be designed specifically for machine intelligence training and inference and delivers an increase in speed of 10x to 100x compared to today’s hardware.
The company is currently in a stage of rapid global growth, tripling the size of the team and opening new offices in London, Palo Alto and Beijing in 2018. This latest round of funding will allow Graphcore to execute on its product roadmap, accelerate scaling and expand the company’s global footprint. It is a further step towards fulfilling the company’s ambition to build a global technology company, focused on this new and fast-growing machine intelligence market.
Nigel Toon, CEO and co-founder of Graphcore, said: “Machine intelligence marks the start of a new age of computing which needs a radically different type of processor and software tools. This new, fast growing market creates the opportunity for Graphcore to build a major global technology company that can help innovators in AI achieve important breakthroughs.”
This Series D round was led by existing investor Atomico, one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms and by new investor, Sofina, a large European investment firm. Merian Global Investors has also joined the round as a major new investor across a number of its managed funds, including Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited, in addition to BMW iVentures and Microsoft.
The funding was fully supported with follow on investments from existing investors including: Amadeus Capital Partners, Atomico, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, C4 Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital, Pitango and Sequoia Capital.
Graphcore has already attracted investments from many of the biggest names in machine intelligence including Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind, Zoubin Ghahramani of Cambridge University and Chief Scientist at Uber, Pieter Abbeel from UC Berkeley, and Greg Brockman, Scott Grey and Ilya Sutskever, from OpenAI.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as placement agent for Graphcore for this financing round and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP provided legal advice.
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Maxonrow is Proud to be a Diamond Sponsor at the Blockchain Expo North America 2018
Saudi Aramco Signs Deals Worth $27.5 Billion With Suppliers at Annual IKTVA Localization Forum
CBN CHRISTMAS VILLAGE Brings The Spirit Of European Christmas Markets To Hampton Roads
Young scientists honoured in India
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Malaysia’s MIMOS launches clinically-tested non-invasive glucose monitor
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