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Intel purchases Movidius to help complete its "human-like sight" initiative

Movidius' system-on-a-chip will allow Intel's RealSense to process visual data with little power, and in real time

Scott Eric Kaufman
September 6, 2016 4:44PM (UTC)

Intel purchased Irish system-on-a-chip (SoC) manufacturer Movidius on Tuesday in order further develop its ambitious "human-like sight" initiative, which has been hampered by the amount of processing power required to run its RealSense depth-sensing camera.

According to Intel's technology chief Joshn Walden, the plan will be to integrate Movidius' SoC into smaller devices -- such as drones and digital security cameras -- that currently lack the power to process their surroundings absent a connection to a computer cloud.


"We see massive potential for Movidius to accelerate our initiatives in new and emerging technologies,” Walden wrote in a statement.

“The ability to track, navigate, map and recognize both scenes and objects using Movidius’ low-power and high-performance SoCs opens opportunities in areas where heat, battery life and form factors are key."

Movidius' SoC works by taking information provided by a range of sources and breaking it down into tasks small enough to performed in parallel.

Instead of the power-hungry sensors currently found on automated vehicles -- which can afford be so, given that they have access to an abundant and renewable supply of energy -- Movidius' SoC will allow for the placement of real-time image-processing cameras in smaller, lighter, and less powerful entities that require vision-processing units.

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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