Published: 12 September 2016
Last week the acquisition of Movidius by Intel was announced. Movidius, which is based in San Mateo, California, designs low-power processor chips for computer vision. It was co-founded in Dublin in 2005 by Dr. Sean Mitchell and David Moloney. Over the last 10 years its raised nearly $90 million in funding. Remi El-Ouazzane joined Movidius as its CEO in 2013. In January, 2016 it joined hands with Google, where in it has been active in Google Project Tango.
According to Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s New Technology Group:
As part of our RealSense™ vision and strategy, we built and acquired critical technologies to ensure our leadership in computer vision and perceptual computing. Simply put, computer vision enables machines to visually process and understand their surroundings. Cameras serve as the “eyes” of the device, the central processing unit is the “brain,” and a vision processor is the “visual cortex.” Upon integration, computer vision enables navigation and mapping, collision avoidance, tracking, object recognition, inspection analytics and more – capabilities that are extremely compelling in emerging markets.
With the introduction of RealSense™ depth-sensing cameras, we brought groundbreaking technology that allowed devices to “see” the world in three dimensions. To amplify this paradigm shift, we completed several acquisitions in machine learning, deep learning and cognitive computing to build a suite of capabilities that open an entirely new world of possibilities: from recognizing objects, to understanding scenes; from authentication to tracking and navigating. This said, as devices become smarter and more distributed, we recognize that specific System on a Chip (SoC) attributes will be paramount to giving human-like sight to the 50 billion connected devices that are projected by 2020.
For this reason, I’m excited to announce our pending acquisition of Movidius*. With Movidius, Intel gains low-power, high-performance SoC platforms for accelerating computer vision applications. Additionally, this acquisition brings algorithms tuned for deep learning, depth processing, navigation and mapping, and natural interactions, as well as broad expertise in embedded computer vision and machine intelligence. Movidius’ technology optimizes, enhances and brings RealSense™ capabilities to fruition.
Remi El-Ouazzane, CEO, Movidius on acquisition by Intel:
Movidius’ mission is to give the power of sight to machines. As part of Intel, we’ll remain focused on this mission, but with the technology and resources to innovate faster and execute at scale. We will continue to operate with the same eagerness to invent and the same customer-focus attitude that we’re known for, and we will retain Movidius talent and the start-up mentality that we have demonstrated over the years.
Our leading VPU (Vision Processing Unit) platform for on-device vision processing combined with Intel’s industry leading depth sensing solution (Intel® RealSense™ Technology) is a winning combination for autonomous machines that can see in 3D, understand their surroundings and navigate accordingly. Today, we’re working with customers like DJI, FLIR, Google and Lenovo to give sight to smart devices including drones, security cameras, AR/VR headsets and more. But today’s smart devices, while compelling, offer just a glimpse of what’s to come.
When computers can see, they can become autonomous and that’s just the beginning. We’re on the cusp of big breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. In the years ahead, we’ll see new types of autonomous machines with more advanced capabilities as we make progress on one of the most difficult challenges of AI: getting our devices not just to see, but also to think.
Movidius has been attacking this challenge at the device level – combining advanced algorithms with dedicated low-power hardware. At Intel, we’ll be part of a team that is attacking this challenge from the cloud, through the network and on the device. This is very exciting.
I’d like to thank our chairman and investors for their support and partnership through the years as we built our vision into a business. You can read more about Intel’s plans for Movidius here.
We are so energized to write the next chapter of our journey. The future looks awesome.
Last, but not least, to my co-founders David, Sean and Val: we would not be here today without the passion, resilience, humility and unwavering commitments you showed in the most difficult times.