Intel buys Irish startup Movidius

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Intel has just announced its plan to purchase the Irish specialist chip making company, Movidius.

Founded over a decade ago by Trinity graduates Sean Mitchell and David Moloney, Movidius develops super light-weight chips with vision processors or cameras attached so that they can understand their surroundings and adapt.

It has signed significant new contracts over the past year with some of the world’s leading drone manufacturers and augmented intelligence firms.

The company, which has a base in Silicon Valley, has been growing strongly in Ireland and has seen employment numbers rise from 50 to 130 in the past year.

No price has been disclosed for the deal, but Movidius is understood to be valued at more than $250m. 

Chief executive Remi El-Ouazzane commented:

"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. 

"Movidius has been attacking this challenge at the device level - combining advanced algorithms with dedicated low-power hardware. At Intel, we'll be part of a team that is attacking this challenge from the cloud, through the network and on the device."

Intel's general manager of new technology Josh Walden said the deal gives it "low-power, high-performance 'System on a Chip' platforms" for accelerating computer vision applications.

"Additionally, this acquisition brings algorithms tuned for deep learning, depth processing, navigation and mapping, and natural interactions, as well as broad expertise in embedded computer vision and machine intelligence."

Craig Fitzpatrick, Newstalk.com

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