Intel announces plans to acquire Movidius

The California chip maker has announced plans to acquire computer vision startup Movidius for an undisclosed amount
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Intel has announced plans to acquire computer vision startup Movidius for an undisclosed amount. 

The Dublin-based Movidius, who specialises in designing CPUs for enhanced computer vision, was valued at €250 million (£21 million) in 2015. 

Intel’s interest in the company stems from the expansion of the company’s RealSense programme to provide human-like vision for robotics, virtual reality headsets and drone technology. RealSense is Intel’s attempt at developing the ‘visual cortex’ of connected devices.

Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s New Technology Group said: “With Movidius, Intel gains low-power, high-performance system on a chip (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.” 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is of particular interest to Intel as the company doubles down its efforts to explore ways in which devices can be developed to have human-like vision. Cognitive algorithms coupled with AI can be used to deliver more sophisticated robotic technology and this is an area which Intel believes can prove to be a disruptive technology for the UK tech channel.

"We see massive potential for Movidius to accelerate our initiatives in new and emerging technologies. The ability to track, navigate, map and recognise both scenes and objects using Movidius’ low-power and high-performance SoCs open opportunities in areas where heat, battery life and form factors are key. 

“Specifically, we will look to deploy the technology across our efforts in augmented, virtual and merged reality, drones, robotics, digital security cameras and beyond. Movidius’ market-leading family of computer vision SoCs complement Intel’s RealSense offerings in addition to our broader IP and product roadmap.”

Companies are always looking for the next vital technology and this deal shows that Intel is certainly attempting to be at the cutting edge of disruptive technologies.

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