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Intel is buying Movidius, a startup that makes vision chips for drones and virtual reality

It’s the latest in a string of acquisitions for the chip giant.

Movidius CEO Remi El-Ouazzane
Ina Fried for Recode

Intel announced late Monday that it is buying Movidius, a small chipmaker that makes computer vision processors used in drones and virtual reality devices, among other products.

Recode highlighted Movidius in March, noting that the little-known company had built a lead in chips that were taking on increasing importance in a range of up-and-coming devices.

The eight-year-old company has grown to about 180 employees, and has landed deals with Lenovo, DJI and Google. Its latest chip, the Myriad 2, can make sense of multiple video streams at once, all in a processor the size of a fingernail.

Intel, meanwhile, has been on something of a shopping spree as it looks to make sure that it doesn’t miss another wave of technology. Last month, Intel agreed to fork over more than $400 million for Nervana Systems, a machine-learning startup.

Intel hopes to pair Movidius’ technology with its own RealSense depth-sensing camera technology.

“The ability to track, navigate, map and recognize both scenes and objects using Movidius’ low power and high performance (chips) opens up opportunities in areas where heat, battery life and form factors are key,” said Josh Walden, senior VP of Intel’s new technology group, in a statement. “Specifically, we will look to deploy the technology across our efforts in augmented, virtual and merged reality, drones, robotics, digital security cameras and beyond.”

Terms of the deal, expected to close later this year, were not disclosed.

And just because it’s fun, here’s a video of me being chased around by a Movidius-powered DJI drone:

Here’s the same drone using computer vision to avoid crashing into a scoreboard:

This article originally appeared on

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