Intel has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Itseez, a specialist in computer vision algorithms and applications for embedded and specialized hardware.
These types of algorithms have applications in the Internet of Things (IoT) and for autonomous vehicles, which major technology companies and global automakers have been giving increasing levels of investment.
The acquisition is part of Intel's transition from a chip company that mainly focused on PCs to one that powers cloud technologies and smart-connected computing devices.
Itseez was started in 2005 Russia with a headquarters in San Francisco. Intel plans to make the company a key component if its Internet of Things Group (IOTG) roadmap.
Intel hopes the acquisition will allow its customers to create deep-learning-based applications like autonomous driving, digital security and surveillance, and industrial inspection.
Computer vision includes methods for acquiring, processing, analyzing, and understanding images from the real world in order to make informed decisions and automate actions.
In 2015, Itseez introduced its camera-based driver assistance system for the renewed UAZ Patriot to enhance drivers' awareness and safety.
Since 2013, the company has been developing a suite of advanced driver assistance (ADAS) algorithms, including ones for traffic sign recognition (TSR), lane departure warning (LDW), front collision warning (FCW), and pedestrian detection (PD).
"To win in automotive today and help deliver its exciting future, Intel is adding new capabilities to our automotive portfolio like functional safety and over-the-air software management," Doug Davis, senior vice president and general manager of the IoT group at Intel, wrote in a May 26 statement. "Another key requirement for self-driving cars is the ability to see and accurately interpret surroundings. One of the technologies necessary to support this capability is computer vision."
Itseez is also a contributor to computer vision standards initiatives that include OpenCV and OpenVX.
The acquisition follows Intel's April purchase of Yogitech, a specialist in semiconductor functional safety and related standards. That company's products and services help meet the requirements for autonomous vehicle prototypes and other IoT applications.
[Check out these photos from Intel's own museum.]
It’s another sign of Intel's shift away from a PC-based business. In April, the company announced a massive layoff of 12,000 employees -- 11% of the company's total workforce -- as it refocuses to high-growth areas like the cloud and connected devices.
The company said it expects the program to deliver $750 million in savings this year and annual run rate savings of $1.4 billion by mid-2017.
In the wake of Intel's decision to lay off 12,000 employees -- 11% of the company's total global workforce -- company CEO Brian Krzanich published a statement similar to a manifesto outlining the company's strategy for the future.
Krzanich broke down Intel's strategy into a five-point outline that he said would help to accelerate the company's transformation from a PC company to a business focused on the cloud and powering connected computing devices.
Among the five core beliefs Krzanich said he feels will hold to be "undeniably true" for the future are the presence of the cloud and the growth of the IoT market.