Intel Buys Movidius, A Chipmaker For Drones And VR

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Intel Buys Movidius, A Chipmaker For Drones And VR
September 5, 2016

Intel announced late Monday that it is buying Movidius, a small chipmaker that makes computer vision processors used in drones and virtual reality devices, among other products.

Recode highlighted Movidius in March, noting that the little-known company had built a lead in chips that were taking on increasing importance in a range of up-and-coming devices.

The eight-year-old company has grown to about 180 employees, and has landed deals with Lenovo, DJI and Google. Its latest chip, the Myriad 2, can make sense of multiple video streams at once, all in a processor the size of a fingernail.

Intel, meanwhile, has been on something of a shopping spree, as it looks to make sure that it doesn’t miss another wave of technology. Last month, Intel agreed to fork over more than $400 million for Nervana Systems, a machine-learning startup.

Intel hopes to pair Movidius’ technology with its own RealSense depth-sensing camera technology.

“The ability to track, navigate, map and recognize both scenes and objects using Movidius’ low power and high performance (chips) opens up opportunities in areas where heat, battery life and form factors are key,” said Josh Walden, senior VP of Intel’s new technology group, in a statement. “Specifically, we will look to deploy the technology across our efforts in augmented, virtual and merged reality, drones, robotics, digital security cameras and beyond.”

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close later this year, were not disclosed.

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