Intel acquires AI startup for $2B

Intel Corporation has acquired Habana Labs, a Tel-Aviv, Israel-based AI startup founded in 2016, for approximately $2 billion.

The acquisition was designed to beef up Intel’s AI portfolio as numerous industries—including healthcare—continue to research and implement these technologies. Habana Labs is viewed as one of the leading manufacturers of AI hardware, launching its Gaudi AI Training Processor in June 2019.

“This acquisition advances our AI strategy, which is to provide customers with solutions to fit every performance need—from the intelligent edge to the data center,” Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Platforms Group, said in a prepared statement. “More specifically, Habana turbo-charges our AI offerings for the data center with a high-performance training processor family and a standards-based programming environment to address evolving AI workloads.”

Habana Labs is set to remain an independent business unit, with no changes being made to its management team. Habana’s chairman, Avigdor Willenz, will serve as a senior advisor for both that independent business unit and Intel.

“We have been fortunate to get to know and collaborate with Intel given its investment in Habana, and we’re thrilled to be officially joining the team,” David Dahan, CEO of Habana, said in the statement. “Intel has created a world-class AI team and capability. We are excited to partner with Intel to accelerate and scale our business. Together, we will deliver our customers more AI innovation, faster.”