Thursday 25 August 2016

Dublin tech firm Movidius to power Google's new virtual reality headset

Published 14/02/2016 | 02:30

Google Cardboard, an existing virtual reality product from the tech giant. Dublin-based Movidius will help build a new model
Google Cardboard, an existing virtual reality product from the tech giant. Dublin-based Movidius will help build a new model

Google is to build a standalone virtual reality headset based on a chip from a Dublin-based tech firm.

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The tech giant will use chips from Movidius, the silicon design company founded by David Moloney and Sean Mitchell, to power its next big wearable product. The virtual reality gadget will be the first on the market not to require a smartphone, game console or computer to work.

Virtual reality is currently the hottest investment technology in Silicon Valley, with billions being pumped into its development by Google, Facebook, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and others.

The move comes a month after Movidius signed a "substantial" sales deal with Google that will allow the software giant to develop new devices using chips made by the firm.

"It's a substantial deal for us in revenue terms," said co-founder Mitchell at the time. "This is the first one and there's more to come soon."

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.

Its main activity is making chips that drive software and hardware product innovation in visual sensing for applications such as virtual reality headsets, drones, home automation, robots, medical devices and wearables.

Its most recent chip can process six HD cameras at once, handling 600 megapixels per second.

Sunday Indo Business

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