Intel snaps-up startup Vertex.AI

Intel will absorb Vertex.AI's PlaidML tech into its Artificial Intelligence Products Group

Intel Sign outside building

Intel has bought AI startup Vertex.AI, absorbing the firm's PlaidML as an open source project run by the company's Artificial Intelligence Products Group.

As part of its ownership of the technology, Intel will transition PlaidML to the Apache 2.0 license, opening up opportunities for more people to access Vertex.AI's deep learning platform. It will also add some extra features to the PlaidML platform, including flexible deep learning for edge computing.

"Intel has acquired Vertex.AI, a Seattle-based startup focused on deep learning compilation tools and associated technology," the company said in a statement. "The seven-person Vertex.AI team joined the Movidius team in Intel's Artificial Intelligence Products Group. With this acquisition, Intel gained an experienced team and IP to further enable flexible deep learning at the edge."

Neither Intel nor Vertex.AI has revealed how much the deal's worth or how much it will be investing in the new purchase, although a message on the AI firm's homepage says Intel is looking for more staff to join its AI team, including data scientists, researchers and hardware, software engineers and project managers t help boost its AI operation.

Intel is putting a lot of money and effort behind its AI division, with Naveen Rao, the company's SVP for AI revealing it wants to cover the entire spectrum of AI possibilities, including Xeon for the data centre, Movidius for embedded vision, MobileEye for automotive, and Altera FPGAs for edge and datacenter inference. He recognises that a one-size-fits-all approach isn't effective and there must be different strings of the company's strategy to address the market.

The company sold an estimated $1 billion's worth of AI tech in 2017, but it thinks by 2022, that should top $10 billion.

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