Intel acquires AI chip firm for $2 billion

December 16, 2019 //By Peter Clarke
Intel acquires AI chip firm for $2 billion
As expected, Intel has acquired Habana Labs Ltd. (Caeserea, Israel), a developer of deep learning accelerators for the data center. The purchase price is approximately $2 billion, Intel said.

The move boosts Intel's position in the AI silicon market, a market which Intel expects to be worth $25 billion in 2024. Intel added that the market for AI silicon in the data center would be worth about $10 billion in the same year. Intel said it expects its own AI-based revenue to be more than $3.5 billion in 2019 up 20 percent year-over-year.

Habana brings to Intel a dedicated training processor called Gaudi and an inference processor called Goya. Intel Capital has been keeping tabs on Habana and led a $75 million series B round which has contributed to more than $120 million raised by Habana since its formation in 2016.

Habana will remain an independent business unit and will continue to be led by its current management team. Habana will report to Intel's Data Platforms Group. Habana will continue to be based in Israel.

Habana's Gaudi AI Training Processor is sampling. Large-node training systems based on Gaudi are expected to deliver up to a fourfold increase in throughput versus systems built with the equivalent number of GPUs.

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