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Intel buys artificial intelligence startup

INTEL

SAN FRANCISCO – US-based Intel announced a deal to buy an artificial intelligence startup as the computer chip colossus looks to broaden its role in data centers and the expanding internet of things.

Intel did not disclose how much it is paying for Nervana Systems, but US media reports on Tuesday put the price at more than $350 million.

“With this acquisition, Intel is formally committing to pushing the forefront of AI (artificial intelligence) technologies,” Nervana co-founder and chief executive Naveen Rao said in a blog post.

“We can now shatter the old paradigm and move into a new regime of computing.”

Founded two years ago in Southern California, Nervana has specialized in combining hardware and software to help machines think in ways similar to human brains, according to the companies.

Intel plans to put Nervana expertise to work in Xeon and Xeon Phi chips to better handle “deep learning” in the internet cloud, Intel data center group executive vice president Diane Bryant said in an online post.

“While artificial intelligence is often equated with great science fiction, it isn’t relegated to novels and movies,” Bryant said.

“AI is all around us.”

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