Intel Acquires Computer Vision Startup Movidius

The RealSense platform was the highlight of the recent Intel Developer’s Forum conference held in San Francisco during the previous month and it appears like the corporation is only seeking to expand the scale and capabilities of its computer vision technology. Just recently, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) announced that it is buying the Movidius, which is the computer vision startup behind 3D-sensor tech Project Tango of Google.

The CEO of Movidius Remi El-Ouazzane announced in a blog post that his firm will push through with its objective of providing “the power of sight to machines” as it works with the RealSense platform of Intel. Movidius’ radically low-powered computer vision chipset has garnered significant interest from other companies. The startup has signed deals with huge corporations, such as Google, DJI, as well as Lenovo.

Movidius is an 8-year old firm which has approximately 180 employees and has offices located in Silicon Valley, Romania, and Ireland. It managed to raise about $86.5 million in funding across a number of rounds from investors. These investors include Summit Bridge Capital, Emertec Gestion, DFJ, Capital-E, and many others.

The terms of this deal were not revealed.

According to the Movidius CEO, “We’re on the cusp of big breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.”

“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,” El-Ouazzane further added.

Lenovo is utilizing the startup’s Myriad 2 family of Vision Processor Units in order to develop the tech firm’s next generation virtual reality devices. On the other hand, Google closed a deal with Movidius in order to employ its neural computation engine on the platform and boost mobile devices’ machine learning capability.

At the latest IDF developers conference of Intel, the semiconductor giant made major announcements with regard to its depth-sensing RealSense technology. This includes Project Alloy, which is its newest virtual reality platform, as well as its autonomous drone piloting feature upgrades. Aside from these, there are also other programs that are intended for improving computer vision in enterprise and consumer devices.

The chip manufacturer aims to integrate its RealSense technology in as many devices as possible and a critical factor is maintaining the power usage to a low level for it to appeal to a wide range of devices. Movidius gives the semiconductor corporation an advantage to get its RealSense technology on low-powered devices. The SoC of the startup claims a sub-1 Watt power budget. This rate is much lower in comparison to other rivals.

According to Intel’s New Technology Group Senior Vice President and General Manager Mr. Josh Walden, “We see massive potential for Movidius to accelerate our initiatives in new and emerging technologies.”

“The ability to track, navigate, map and recognize both scenes and objects using Movidius’ low power and high performance SoCs opens up opportunities in areas where heat, battery life and form factors are key,” Walden further stated.

As of 4:00 AM GMT -4 on September 6, the INTC stock is changing hands at $36.08, up by 0.17 percent or 0.06 points.

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