For the past several years, Intel has focused its efforts on the specialized chip sector, including those designed specifically for things like artificial intelligence (AI). The industrial giant recently made an acquisition that will support its endeavors in space.
On Thursday, Intel announced the purchase of SigOpt, a San Francisco-based startup responsible for creating an optimization platform for modeling and simulations. It is unclear how the transaction is financially. To date, the startup had raised less than $ 10 million.
Even so, SigOpt has some notable names to back it up. This support has enabled him to develop interesting technologies that now support Intel’s AI chips business.
Focus on AI
Intel knows the computing world is changing. Competitors like Nvidia, AMD and Arm are closing the performance gap that used to be a deal breaker for many customers. With this in mind, Intel is setting new standards for next-generation chips that are optimized for new and upcoming technologies.
That focus has helped the chip giant offset the downtrend in its old operations. In the third quarter of the year Intel recorded a decline in sales of three percent despite the expectations of the analysts. The decline was led by its data center segment.
However, the AI chips market is predicted to be worth more than $ 25 billion by 2024. As the industry evolves and companies begin to incorporate AI into their business operations, there will be even more room for growth.
Last year, Intel had just under $ 4 billion in AI-related sales. While this is decent, the SigOpt acquisition will help improve sales dramatically in the future.
Raja Koduri, Intel’s chief architect and senior vice president of discrete graphics, said, “SigOpt’s AI software platform and data science talent will expand Intel’s software, architecture, product offerings and teams and provide us with valuable customer insights.”
What does SigOpt bring to the table?
For those who are not familiar, SigOpt is a startup with the goal of “optimizing everything”.
The platform built to optimize modeling and simulations is the most important as these are two key elements of artificial intelligence. That is also the part of the business that Intel will take advantage of.
The startup currently offers its services to a number of Fortune 500 companies and research institutions. Although the core product is still in a closed beta, the startup has made investments from a few notable sources.
For one, In-Q-Tel, the strategic investment arm of the CIA, was on board. More traditional investors include Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator.
Despite the takeover, a SigOpt spokesperson confirmed that the startup will continue to serve its existing customers. A company statement states: “We will continue to work with SigOpt’s existing customers and also integrate the technology into our product roadmap.”
It will be interesting to see how Intel leverages the company’s resources in the days ahead to become the world’s leading AI chip maker both now and in the future.
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