Intel moves to achieve deep-learning Nervana with acquisition

— 3:40 PM on August 9, 2016

Deep learning technology is one of the buzziest, fastest-growing fields in tech right now. We've long heard about the potential of the technology from Nvidia, who has positioned its GPUs as ideal platforms to power applications like self-driving cars and neural-network-powered image identification, to name just two potential applications for the tech. Today, Intel is trying to get a leg up in the game by purchasing Nervana Systems, a deep-learning hardware and software provider, for an undisclosed sum.

Intel says it'll be using Nervana's software to refine its Math Kernel Library, and the company's hardware expertise will also be put to work in the development of Xeon and Xeon Phi chips.

Nervana's hardware page says it's developed a deep-learning application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)  in an interposer package with 32GB of HBM on board. That ASIC also includes six bi-directional proprietary interconnect links that allow clusters of chips to be connected intra- or inter-server for extra speed. The company also makes an SDK called Neon for implementing deep-learning applications. In tandem, these products are meant to provide big speedups for the field. We'll probably hear much more about this acquisition at IDF next week.

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