Intel acquires AI startup Habana Labs for $2 billion

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Time to Read: 2 minutes

Intel Corp has bought Israel-based artificial intelligence (AI) firm Habana Labs for about $2 billion, the chipmaker said on Monday, seeking to expand its AI portfolio to bolster its data-center business

Intel expects the fast-growing AI chip market to exceed $25 billion by 2024, with its own AI-driven revenues this year seen rising 20% from 2018 to more than $3.5 billion.

Intel has increasingly been depending on sales to data centers as PC sales stagnate.

Habana, an AI processor firm, was founded in 2016 and has offices in Tel Aviv, San Jose, Beijing and Gdansk, Poland. It has raised $120 million to date, including $75 million in a funding round led by Intel Capital last year.

The deal follows a string of AI-related acquisitions by Intel in recent years, including Movidius, Nervana, Altera and Mobileye.

Navin Shenoy, who oversees Intel’s data center group, told Reuters in an interview that each set of chips is designed to solve a different problem, whether it is helping cars drive themselves or training machine-learning algorithms in data centers.

Shenoy said Habana’s chips are aimed at so-called deep learning, a subset of machine learning, being done in data centers.

“What we hear from our customers is that there’s a heterogonous set of needs,” Shenoy said. “The market opportunities are significant and large enough that we can build out a specialized portfolio to go solve those problems and do it in a way that customers feel good about and respond well to.”

Habana launched its new Gaudi AI training processor in June that it said will deliver much faster processing speeds to compete with similar offerings from Intel’s rival Nvidia Corp.

Related Article  AI is helping scholars restore ancient Greek texts on stone tablets

Nvidia outbid Intel last March to buy Israeli chipmaker Mellanox for $6.9 billion, boosting its data-center chip business.

Habana will remain an independent business unit led by its current management team and report to Intel’s data platforms group.

The company will continue to be based in Israel and its Chairman Avigdor Willenz will serve as a senior adviser to Intel, the companies said.

Willenz sold chip designer Galileo Technologies to Marvell Technology Group for $2.7 billion in 2001, and Annapurna Labs to Amazon for an estimated $370 million in 2015.

With five facilities, Intel already has a significant presence in Israel and has become one of the country’s top exporters since launching operations there in 1974.

The California-based chip giant moved its automotive technologies headquarters to Jerusalem after buying Mobileye for $15 billion in 2017. It is investing $11 billion to expand its local chip factory and also launched a tech accelerator in Israel in June.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.xtechalpha.com.)

Leave a Reply

SUBSCRIBE FOR XTECHALPHA NEWS AND RECEIVE WEEKLY UPDATES

Xtechalpha Xclusive

RSS Latest Technology News

  • Google Postpones Android 11 Launch Event, Beta Release May 30, 2020
    Google is delaying the launch event and beta release for its Android 11 operating system, which had originally been planned for next week. “Now is not the time to celebrate,” the Alphabet Inc.-owned company said in a notice published on its Android ...
  • Samsung Galaxy M11, Galaxy M01 Set to Launch in India on June 2, Flipkart Reveals May 30, 2020
    Samsung Galaxy M11 and Galaxy M01 are set to launch in India on June 2, Flipkart revealed through a couple of teasers. The e-commerce site also confirms that both new Samsung phones will be available for purchase shortly after the official launch.
    Jagmeet Singh
  • Top alternative Nintendo Switch controllers you can snag from Amazon.sg May 30, 2020
    So you've been at it with your shiny new Nintendo Switch for the past few months or weeks. Sure, it has been pretty great with the unique ability to switch between docked and undocked modes within seconds. However, sometimes, it's a little too much of a ...
    Marion Frayna

Follow Us

Intel acquires AI startup Habana Labs for $2 billion

by Puneet Time to Read: 1 min
0
AI Tool to Reshape Treatment by Predicting Cell Behaviors
Get to know the latest updates on exponential technologies, new age industry segments with our weekly XTechalpha Xclusive newsletter straight in your mailbox.