Sunday 4 December 2016

An Irish tech company has just been snapped up by Intel

Michael Cogley and Adrian Weckler

Published 06/09/2016 | 07:53

Movidius founders David Moloney and Sean Mitchell
Movidius founders David Moloney and Sean Mitchell

Irish tech firm Movidius has been acquired by Intel for an undisclosed fee, however the company was said to be valued at around €200m early last year.

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Movidius makes computer vision chips with the ambition of allowing machines to understand their surroundings and adapt to them.

The firm has developed chips that powered the first generation of Tango devices, which were Android tablets and phones that were capable of mapping their surroundings.

The Irish business was founded nine years ago by Trinity graduates David Moloney and Sean Mitchell.

The company said it would continue doing the type of chip development and innovation it is currently doing, but at a much faster pace given the scale of investment from Intel.

"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.

"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," chief executive Remi El-Ouazzane said.

Last year, Movidius announced one of Europe's biggest tech funding rounds, with €38m in cash from investors that included Summit Bridge Capital, the China-Ireland Growth Technology Fund co-managed by Atlantic Bridge Capital and WestSummit Capital, ARCH Venture Partners and DFJ Esprit. The new investment round brought its funding haul to over €83m.

Last year, Google said that it would use Movidius's technology as part of its own 3D-mapping platform. The move means that Movidius chips could form part of a much wider adoption among phone and mobile device makers.

"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," Mr El-Ouazzane said.

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