US-based Intel Corp on Tuesday announced a deal to buy an “artificial intelligence” (AI) start-up as the company looks to broaden its role in data centers and the expanding Internet of Things.
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 technologies,” Nervana cofounder 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 specialized in combining hardware and software to help machines process data in ways similar to human brains, the companies said.
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 center 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,” Bryant said.
“AI is all around us,” he added.
Separately, Apple Inc on Monday confirmed that it has bought US machine learning start-up Turi as Silicon Valley giants focus on a future rich with AI.
Turi specializes in enabling developers to imbue software applications with programs so the apps respond to data more like the way people do.
Apple declined to elaborate on the deal for Seattle-based Turi.
Technology news Web site GeekWire cited people close to the acquisition as pegging the purchase price at US$200 million.
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