Intel bets huge on artificial intelligence (AI) via the acquisition of Nervana Systems. According to Recode, the deal is closed for a whopping $408 million.
According to Jason Waxman, Intel Vice President, the shift to AI is significant at this point. This is mainly because the era is shifting from a person controlling a couple of devices connected to the internet, to that of connected devices communicating to each other. The data generated by these connected devices are huge. Hence, he considers machine learning equally important to cloud computing.
Nervana Systems is a 48-people startup run by a former Qualcomm researcher Narveen Rao. The company has raised $25 million in venture funding. The company also has a contract with In-Q-tel, a US intelligence community’s venture arm.
“By selling to Intel, we have access to technology we had ever dreamt about,” Rao said.
According to Waxman, deep learning and artificial intelligence is not anymore on papers. “This is a real thing at Baidu; this is a real thing at Google,” he said to Recode.
“Nervana’s IP and expertise in accelerating deep learning algorithms will expand Intel’s capabilities in the field of AI,” Diane Bryant, EVP and GM of the Data Center Group at Intel said in a blog post. “We will apply Nervana’s software expertise to further optimize the Intel Math Kernel Library and its integration into industry-standard frameworks.”
Nervana’s expertise will advance Intel’s AI portfolio and enhance the deep learning performance and TCO of Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors.