Last week, tech giant Intel announced its plans to purchase the Israeli-based Mobileye, a firm that specializes in automotive ADAS software. While Mobileye is not exactly a household name, its proprietary technology, EyeQ, is used to enable lane-departure warnings and proximity sensors, technology essential for any ADAS system.
Now that Intel has acquired Mobileye, the question is what’s next for the tech giant.
1) Intel plans to a dominating player in the automotive ADAS industry.
Two years ago, Intel acquired the FPGA-maker Altera in a $16.7 billion deal. The acquisition was seen as a stepping stone towards allowing Intel to enter computing-intensive applications, including data storage and processing, artificial intelligence, and automotive ADAS technology.
2) Nvidia is one of the leading players in the ADAS industry, but this move will mean that Intel will now be a force to reckon with.
Nvidia is already working with two automakers towards enabling high-tech automotive ADAS technology, BMW and Tesla. An automotive ADAS system will only be efficient if it can process large amounts of data in a split-second. Based on whatever input is being fed into the vehicles’ many camera sensors, the on-board ADAS system will have to make a split-second decision, one that may mean difference between life and death.
One of the differences between Nvidia and Intel is that Nvidia relies on its GPUs to process these large data inputs. Meanwhile, Intel is taking a completely different approach. Its relying on Altera’s FPGA to crunch through the data. There are pluses and minuses to using both FPGAs and GPUs – it will be interesting to see which approach dominates in the coming few years.
3) Mobileye is already working with over 25 automobile manufactures, and Intel will now have easy access to Mobileye’s customers.
Intel has already gone through two major acquisitions in the past two years – it’s now time for partnerships. Acquiring Mobileye means that Intel will now have access to a number of automakers, the technology they are developing, and the raw data they have collected during their trials and test runs.
Intel now has a foot in several cutting-edge tech areas. Last time, Intel did not take an active interest in the growing smartphone and tablet industry, and the company missed out on one of the fastest growing tech areas. This time, it looks like Intel’s is making sure all of its bases are covered and are taking the time to play a pivotal role in tomorrow’s technology.
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