Tech

Intel Acquires Movidius To Support Its Computer Vision And AI Efforts

By Victor Thomson , Sep 07, 2016 06:57 AM EDT

Intel has acquired Movidius as part of its strategy to accelerate its artificial intelligence (AI) and RealSense vision efforts.

Movidius' Expertise

According to PCWorld, Intel hopes that its efforts to enter into new markets, such as the field of drones' computer vision, will be propelled forward by Movidius' expertise in low-power image-processing chips.

Custom chip maker Movidius has attracted a lot of attention for its low-power, high-performance chips. Movidius silicon products are making machine learning possible on mobile devices. They have also powered vision applications like Google Tango.

According to ExtremeTech, chip giant Intel has acquired Movidius in order to help its efforts to provide computer vision and deep learning solutions, and especially to help accelerate its RealSense project. Intel hopes that, in addition to more traditional mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, Movidius technology will be deployed in robots, drones and VR headsets.

Mobile solutions that require substantial computation are traditionally challenged by power requirements. Machine learning and vision applications are two such examples. However, Movidius has reduced significantly the power needed to run vision libraries and machine learning apps by creating custom optimized chips.

RealSense

Intel's first-generation RealSense products have been designed to provide 3D view of the surrounding for mobile devices in order to support gesture recognition, navigation and mapping. But the applications have not enjoyed the expected success, due to technical shortcomings. Now, Intel has increased its efforts in an aim to transform RealSense in the eyes and ears of the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to Intel, the IoT applications are estimated to reach a number of over 50 billion devices by the year 2020. Josh Walden, Intel Senior VP, considers that vision processors such as Movidius's Myriad are IoT devices' "visual cortex."

Intel is trying to move into markets such as drones, self-driving cars, computer vision, VR and high-performance computing for AI with its RealSense platform. The Movidius acquisition can certainly help Intel providing the most possible general computing power per watt.

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