News: Intel is to acquire the AI start-up for a reported $408m.
Intel is to acquire start-up Nervana Systems in an AI data centre play. According to sources cited by recode, the deal is worth $408 million, with the chip maker taking a gamble on smart technology being the next big trend inside corporate data centres.
Although Intel’s Xeon processors dominate in today's data centres, they have not been built for the unique workloads of artificial intelligence calculations, according to Gartner analyst Martin Reynolds.
It has been said that adding Nervana’s products and expertise will help it gain a foothold in a small but growing market and fend off would be rival’s such as Nvidia – if it can rapidly turn its acquisition into products.
Reynolds said; “The market isn’t that big yet. But it’s potentially a huge opportunity.”
Intel’s data centre unit, the firm’s most-profitable and fastest-growing business, will need to find products suited to running emerging services such as voice and picture recognition. This type of artificial intelligence work is expected to become a bigger portion of the activity of the servers powered by Intel’s chips.
Diane Bryant, Intel’s executive vice president of its data centre business said; “We believe that bringing together the Intel engineers who create the Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors with the talented Nervana Systems’ team, we will be able to advance the industry faster than would have otherwise been possible.” Also, during a web posting, Bryant said; “We will continue to invest in leading edge technologies that complement and enhance Intel’s AI portfolio.”
San Diego-based Nervana was founded in 2014, Terms of acquisition were undisclosed.