Chipzilla has put its artificial intelligence efforts into a single business group led by former CEO of Nervana, Naveen Rao.
For those who came in late, Intel bought Nervana in the firm belief that the next big thing will be AI powered IT innovation and machine learning.
Writing in his bog, Rao outlined how the Artificial Intelligence Products Group will work across multiple units. Part of the group’s remit will be to bring AI costs down and forge standards. Rao said the group will combine engineering, labs, software, and hardware from its portfolio.
Intel is building an AI lab and a centralised organisation, reporting directly to CEO Brian Krzanich, to make it all work.
This is classic organisational strategy, accelerating delivery by creating a cross-product group directly reporting to the CEO.
Chipzilla’s billion dollar investment in Nervana might be the key to making its server chips more intelligent.
Intel is laying out its roadmap to advance artificial intelligence performance across the board and Nervana technology appears to be everywhere.
The high-performance silicon market is dominated by GPUs. However, with Nervana inside, Intel hopes its new corporate tech with its a fully-optimized software and hardware stack will give that business model a good kicking.
Nervana hardware will initially be available as an add-in card that plugs into a PCIe slot. The first Nervana silicon, codenamed Lake Crest, will make its way to select Intel customers in H1 2017.
Intel is also talking about Knights Mill, which is the next generation of the Xeon Phi processor family. Intel said that Knights Mill will deliver a 4x increase in deep learning performance compared to existing Xeon Phi processors and the combined solution with Nervana will offer orders of magnitude gains in deep learning performance.
Diane Bryant, Executive VP of Intel’s Data Center Group said that the Intel Nervana platform to produce breakthrough performance and dramatic reductions in the time to train complex neural networks.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that Nervana’s technologies will produce a 100-fold increase in performance in the next three years to train complex neural networks, enabling data scientists to solve their biggest AI challenges faster.
Chipzilla has decided that AI smells a bit like teen spirit and is going to write a cheque for Nervana Systems.
Intel is tsarting to see AI as the next big thing and it is buying in expertise. Nervana which has not been the same since its lead singer killed himself appears to have got itself involved with cutting edge AI reseach [are you sure that is the name Nervana? Ed].
Intel wrote in its bog that the buy out will help develop Intel’s artificial intelligence portfolio and enhance the deep learning performance of Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors.
The company is led by former Qualcomm researcher Naveen Rao and has raised $25 million in venture funding and also has a contract to work with In-Q-tel, the U.S. intelligence community’s venture arm.
It has not said how much it paid for the company but investors in Nervana include Global Playground, CME Ventures, Lux Capital, Allen & Co and AME Cloud Ventures so it looks like a large amount of money must have changed hands. It has been rumoured that Intel had to pay $350 million,