Intel buys AI start-up Nervana
US-BASED Intel has announced a deal to buy an artificial intelligence start-up as the computer chip colossus looks to broaden its role in data centres and the internet.
Intel did not disclose how much it is paying for Nervana Systems, but US media reports put the price at more than US$350 million.
“With this acquisition, Intel is formally committing to pushing the forefront of AI [artificial intelligence] technologies,” Nervana co-founder and chief executive Naveen Rao said in a blog post.
“We can now shatter the old paradigm and move into a new regime of computing.”
Founded two years ago in Southern California, Nervana has specialised in combining hardware and software to help machines think in ways similar to human brains, according to the companies.
Intel plans to put Nervana expertise to work in Xeon and Xeon Phi chips to better handle “deep learning” in the internet cloud, Intel data centre group executive vice president Diane Bryant said in an online post.
“While artificial intelligence is often equated with great science fiction, it isn’t relegated to novels and movies,” Ms Bryant said. –