Intel has just spent approximately $2 billion to acquire an Israel-based AI firm Habana Labs. According to the press release, the partnership is set to improve Intel’s AI offerings for different data centers.
Habana Labs has been a creator of programmable deep learning accelerators. With its Gaudi AI training processor, it’s developed to deliver up to four times better output for the systems built with an equivalent number of GPUs. Mobile and web-based applications that use Intel’s AI data center offerings will be benefitting from the acquisition. The new offering will provide faster and accurate AI for better speech and photo recognition. The latest acquisition brings more AI capabilities such as reconnecting damaged spinal nerves in paralyzed patients and develop wheelchairs that can be controlled using facial expressions.
The current AI capabilities are used with neuromorphic chips that can mimic the human brain, and according to the company, it will provide ultra-efficiency in terms of usage. It powers everything from prosthetics to self-driving cars. AI has increasingly become an important part of Intel’s chip-making business.
In 2019, the company expects to generate over $3.5 billion in AI-driven revenue, that is, more than 20% year-over-year increase. The company recently revealed the first of its AI chips built for the cloud and even the next-gen computer vision. The acquisition of Habana is all set to give those chips a boost. Intel expects the fast-growing AI chip market to exceed $25 billion by 2024. Intel increasingly depends on the sales of its chips to data centers as the PC sales are currently stagnating.
Habana, an AI processor firm, was founded in 2016 and has offices across Tel Aviv, San Jose, Beijing, and Poland. The company has raised close to $120 million, which includes $75 million in a funding round led by Intel Capital last year.