Intel is putting its money where its mouth is when its comes to the market for artificial intelligence by saying its has reached a deal to acquire AI chip technology developer Habana Labs for $2 billion.
Intel announced the acquisition early Monday morning, saying that Habana will help it make progress in the market for AI chips used in cloud-computing systems in corporate data centers.
“This acquisition advances our AI strategy, which is to provide customers with solutions to fit every performance need,” said Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s data platforms group. “More specifically, Habana turbo-charges our AI offerings for the data center with a high-performance training processor family.”
Intel has made no secret of its desire to expand further into the AI market. In November, Intel debuted Nervana, its first set of microprocessors specifically designed for AI use in cloud-computing environments. As part of its Habana acquisition announcement, Intel said it expects its AI-related revenue to reach $3.5 billion this year, or 20% more than what AI generated in sales in 2018.
Intel said Habana, which is based in Israel, will remain an independent business unit and will keep its current management structure in place. Avigdor Willenz, Habana’s chairman, will stay on as a senior adviser to the business unit as well as to Intel.