Intel acquires Itseez to strengthen navigation for self-driving cars

With an aim to develop better navigation for self-driving cars, Intel has acquired a Russian company called Itseez, a specialist in computer vision. For now, the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Itseez, a San Francisco-based company, makes computer vision algorithms and software. The company has many products, including many for automobiles. Doug Davis, Intel senior vice president and general manager of its Internet of Things Group (IOTG), said about the deal that Itseez will prove very important for Intel’s Internet of Things Group roadmap.

“This acquisition furthers Intel’s efforts to win in IoT market segments like automotive and video, where the ability to electronically perceive and understand images paves the way for innovation and opportunity”, said Davis.

The company will help Intel’s customers create innovative deep-learning based applications like autonomous driving, digital security, observation and industrial application. In fact, Itseez has developed algorithms for robotics, surveillance, smartphones, and sports analytics.

The acquisition is considered to be Intel’s strategy from PC chip maker to cloud computing, the Internet of Things and analyzing data from the devices. As per Intel, its data center and Internet of Things businesses are its primary growth engines, which have helped it survive a decline in the PC market by creating a total of $2.2 billion in revenue growth last year.

It is being said that restructuring has come at a cost, as Intel is laying off 12,000 employees or 115 of its workforce. Intel CEO Brian Crzanich was of the view that the job cuts are part of the company’s restructuring to accelerate its transformation.

Intel has long focused on chips used in personal computers. Now, it is changing its focus after noticing the downturn in the PC business and emphasizing on markets including the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Intel, long known for chips used in personal computers, is reacting to the downturn in the PC business by emphasizing markets that include the Internet of Things, or IoT—a catchall term for embedding sensing, computing and communication capabilities in everyday products, including wearable devices, home-automation gear and in-store signage. Cars are one of the biggest potential IoT markets, driven by the desire to improve assisted driving technology and eventually self-driving models,” according to a news report published by WSJ News.

“This acquisition furthers Intel’s efforts to win in IoT market segments like automotive and video, where the ability to electronically perceive and understand images paves the way for innovation and opportunity,” Douglas Davis, a senior vice president who leads Intel’s IoT efforts. The announcement comes as Intel is going through a major restructuring, including plans to shed 12,000 employees, as well as management changes. Mr. Davis plans to retire at the end of the year after 32 years at the company.

According to a story published on the topic by Slash Gear, “Intel has agreed to acquire computer vision company Itseez Inc, the company has announced, for its computer vision technology in a bid to bolster Intel’s own Internet of Things and automotive portfolio. Itseez, says Intel, will soon be a ‘key ingredient’ in the company’s Internet of Things Group, helping it further its focus away from the PC and toward the growing number of connected smart gadgets.”

“One of the key technologies necessary to support this capability is computer vision,” says Intel IoT SVP Doug Davis. “That’s why,” he added, Intel is going to acquire Itseez and, subsequently, the company’s computer vision algorithms and other developments. “This acquisition furthers Intel’s efforts to win in IoT market segments like automotive and video, where the ability to electronically perceive and understand images paves the way for innovation and opportunity.”

A report published in Seeking Alpha revealed, Intel: “This acquisition furthers Intel’s efforts to win in IoT market segments like automotive and video, where the ability to electronically perceive and understand images paves the way for innovation and opportunity. Itseez will become a key ingredient for Intel’s Internet of Things Group (IOTG) roadmap, and will help Intel’s customers create innovative deep-learning-based CV applications like autonomous driving, digital security and surveillance, and industrial inspection.”

The acquisition comes less than two months after Intel bought Yogitech, an Italian provider of functional safety solutions for chips – they help prevent chips within cars, industrial equipment, and other embedded systems from failing, and alert users in the event that they do. Last year, video processor developer Ambarella bought VisLab, an Italian developer of computer vision and intelligent control systems for cars and other products. Mobileye is currently the top provider of vision processors for the advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) market. NXP and Nvidia are also eying the market.

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