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Intel’s Latest Swing At AI Is A $2 Billion Deal From Israel

To push its artificial intelligence strategy, Santa Clara-based Intel has acquired Israel’s Habana Labs for “approximately $2 billion dollars.” The startup offers computer chips to help artificial intelligence production processes. Habana Labs has raised about $120 million in its life as a private company from investors including Intel.

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Per Fortune, Habana claims “that some of its processors can handle four times the amount of data per second than rival chips — a key factor for heavy A.I. training loads.” ntel understandably values that kind of performance, as the data center services customers of various sizes deploying different projects. It would aid Intel “to evolve with growing demands on compute, memory and connectivity.”

Beyond a hefty price, a growing pool of AI resources is also part of Intel’s offer to Habana Labs, which splits its 120-person staff between Tel Aviv, Israel and San Jose, California.

According to a release, Habana will remain an independent business unit following the acquisition, but will report to Intel’s Data Platforms Group, which houses the company’s AI technologies. Recent acquisitions by the data management and manufacturing company also work on chip processors, including Barefoot Networks and NetSpeed Systems. In 2016, Intel acquired Nervana Systems, which also works on AI-specific chips.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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