CHIPMAKER Intel is buying Movidius, a California-based chip outfit that specialises in low-power chip design for computer vision and machine intelligence algorithms. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
These capabilities will be used to enhance Intel's RealSense human-computer interaction technology that provides face, gesture and speech recognition and augmented reality (AR) capabilities.
Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's New Technology Group, explained that the acquisition will strengthen Intel's position in the IoT.
"As devices become smarter and more distributed, we recognise that specific system-on-a-chip (SoC) attributes will be paramount to giving human-like sight to the 50 billion connected devices that are projected by 2020," he said.
"With Movidius, Intel gains low-power, high-performance SoC platforms for accelerating computer vision applications.
"Additionally, this acquisition brings algorithms tuned for deep learning, depth processing, navigation and mapping, and natural interactions, as well as broad expertise in embedded computer vision and machine intelligence. Movidius' technology optimises, enhances and brings RealSense capabilities to fruition."
Movidius CEO Reml El-Ouazzane was similarly upbeat, saying that the deal will provide the basis for new innovation in autonomous machines.
"Our vision processing unit platform for on-device vision processing [and] Intel's RealSense technology is a winning combination for autonomous machines that can see in 3D, understand their surroundings and navigate accordingly," he said.
"Today, we're working with customers like DJI, FLIR, Google and Lenovo to give sight to smart devices including drones, security cameras, AR/VR headsets and more. But today's smart devices, while compelling, offer just a glimpse of what's to come."
Intel acquired AI startup Nervana Systems in August for $400m in a bid to future-proof its data centre business and shift focus away from the flailing PC market. µ
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