Intel invests in autonomous device tech with acquisition
Intel intends to buy a Silicon Valley vision processing business which has a design centre in Ireland.
Movidius contributes technology to the manufacturers of virtual reality headsets, drones and Internet of Things devices, and is working with artificial intelligence.
Among its customers are Google – which is itself heavily invested in AI – and electronics company Lenovo.
“Movidius’ mission is to give the power of sight to machines. As part of Intel, we’ll remain focused on this mission, but with the technology and resources to innovate faster and execute at scale,” said Movidius CEO Remi El-Ouazzane.
“Movidius has been attacking this challenge at the device level – combining advanced algorithms with dedicated low-power hardware.
“At Intel, we’ll be part of a team that is attacking this challenge from the cloud, through the network and on the device.”
The firm envisages the development of autonomous machines that can see in 3D, understand their surroundings and navigate accordingly.
El-Ouazzane added: “In the years ahead, we’ll see new types of autonomous machines with more advanced capabilities as we make progress on one of the most difficult challenges of AI: getting our devices not just to see, but also to think.”
Some analysts expect there to be 50 billion connected devices in the world by 2020.
Intel senior vice president Josh Walden, who serves as general manager of Intel’s New Technology Group, said: “We’re entering an era where devices must be smart and connected.
“When a device is capable of understanding and responding to its environment, entirely new and unprecedented solutions present themselves.
“With Movidius, Intel gains low-power, high-performance 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, which said last year it planned to create an additional 100 jobs in Ireland after securing an additional £27 million in funding, also has a design centre in Romania.
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