Intel buys Movidius to build the future of computer vision

The AI chip deal promises a big boost to Intel's RealSense camera technology.

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Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

Intel is making it extra-clear that computer vision hardware will play a big role in its beyond-the-PC strategy. The computing behemoth has just acquired Movidius, a specialist in AI and computer vision processors. The Intel team isn't shy about its goals. It sees Movidius as a way to get high-speed, low-power chips that can power RealSense cameras in devices that need to see and understand the world around them. Movidius has already provided the brains behind gadgets like drones and thermal cameras, many of which are a logical fit for Intel's depth-sensing tech -- and its deals with Google and Lenovo give nothing to sneeze at, either.

This isn't Intel's first AI-related buyout. However, it shows that Intel is increasingly determined to find new avenues to explore now that it can't count on large jumps in processor performance to maintain the bottom line. An acquisition like this could make it the go-to source for chips in fields that are still growing quickly, such as robotics and smart homes.

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