Wednesday, December 4th 2019

Intel in Negotiations for Habana Labs Acquisition

Intel is currently performing negotiations to acquire Israeli AI chip startup, Habana Labs, according to a person who spoke to Calcalist anonymously. If the deal realizes, Intel will pay between one and two billion USD, making it Intel's second-largest acquisition of an Israeli company. When asked about the potential deal, the Intel spokesperson has stated that the company will not respond to rumors surrounding it, while Habana Labs has yet to respond to a request for comment made by Calcalist.

Founded in 2016 by Israeli entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz, who founded Galileo Technologies and Annapurna Labs, Habana Labs develops processors for training and inference of Machine Learning models. This acquisition would allow Intel to compete better in the AI processor market and get new customers which were previously exclusive to Habana Labs.
Source: Calcalist
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18 Comments on Intel in Negotiations for Habana Labs Acquisition

#1
ratirt
So I guess Intel is going AI and accelerators market and I can bet it's for OEMs.
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#2
R0H1T
AI is the next big thing & before you know it we'll have this :ohwell:

[IMG alt="See the source image"]https://legallyblackgirlmagic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/skynet.png[/IMG]

Intel's clearly heading the way of Cyberdyne :shadedshu:
Posted on Reply
#3
dj-electric
ratirt
So I guess Intel is going AI and accelerators market and I can bet it's for OEMs.
Intel has been going AI for quite a long time now, but they have to have some meaningful technologies come 2020 and onward, its going to be absolutely pivotal in the way AI works in everyday life, and even in CPUs.
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#4
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
Do you want Skynet? Because this is how you get Skynet...
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#5
notb
ratirt
So I guess Intel is going AI and accelerators market and I can bet it's for OEMs.
Habana Labs makes (primarily) image recognition hardware.
So yeah, retail demand for AI accelerators is rather small, but so is for bare Zen cores or RAM dies.

AI chips are already arriving inside SoCs and appliances. You'll have many of them at home soon enough.

INSTG8R
Do you want Skynet? Because this is how you get Skynet...
Yes, exactly. Today you let your washing machine decide how much water it needs. Tomorrow it'll grab a knife and stab you.
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#6
remixedcat
My Neato D7 connected robot vac is derpy AF wonder what AI chip they use lol.
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#7
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
notb
Yes, exactly. Today you let your washing machine decide how much water it needs. Tomorrow it'll grab a knife and stab you.
That’s how it starts...;):p
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#8
ratirt
notb
Yes, exactly. Today you let your washing machine decide how much water it needs. Tomorrow it'll grab a knife and stab you.
INSTG8R
That’s how it starts...;):p
I'd like to see my washing machine try :) It can talk ready or drying whatever. Afterwards your GF's hairdryer goes rogue :) That would be a crazily funny sight and she's probably gonna blame you for it anyway :p

notb
Habana Labs makes (primarily) image recognition hardware.
So yeah, retail demand for AI accelerators is rather small, but so is for bare Zen cores or RAM dies.

AI chips are already arriving inside SoCs and appliances. You'll have many of them at home soon enough.
What I think here is that Intel is changing its focus now. Desktops are no longer priority.
Come to think of it, it never was a priority I guess.
Posted on Reply
#9
notb
ratirt
What I think here is that Intel is changing its focus now. Desktops are no longer priority.
Come to think of it, it never was a priority I guess.
Not for the last ~15 years.

But this problem is in a different dimension anyway. Intel is not moving away from CPUs and into AI. It's more about enhancing processors so that they do AI tasks faster. Because suddenly AI is not about complex problems in science and engineering. It's for basic stuff as well.

Washing machine programmed in the factory will never be very efficient. It's made for an average client: with average water quality, using average detergent and loading average cloths.
You give that washing machine some computing power and sensors - it'll configure itself much better for the particular bathroom it'll work in (kitchen in US, I guess). And it'll keep learning with each cycle.
This will be a general trend in coming years.

But a washing machine that can get angry with how dirty your house is, so it decides to flood it... that's at least decades away. Don't worry too much. :)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_consciousness
Posted on Reply
#10
ratirt
notb
Not for the last ~15 years.

But this problem is in a different dimension anyway. Intel is not moving away from CPUs and into AI. It's more about enhancing processors so that they do AI tasks faster. Because suddenly AI is not about complex problems in science and engineering. It's for basic stuff as well.
Intel will move away from desktop market for good and this acquisition is telling a lot about Intel's plans.

I been wondering what would the motives be for a washing machine to kill the owner. Dirty house might not be right. The robot house keeper's to blame :P Humans are save :D
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#11
Bones
INSTG8R
Do you want Skynet? Because this is how you get Skynet...

Other Barry approves.....
Posted on Reply
#12
neatfeatguy
notb
Yes, exactly. Today you let your washing machine decide how much water it needs. Tomorrow it'll grab a knife and stab you.
I've seen that Futurama episode - Mom controls all the robots and has them wreak havoc on the humans all because she hates Mother's Day. You guys are going to piss Intel off in the future and not buy enough of their stuff on a Cyber Monday and next thing you know all hell breaks loose as any machine that sports an

logo will do just that - 'grab a knife and stab you'.

Thanks a lot guys, look what you're going to start. Intel machine uprising.
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#13
bug
Hm, founded in 2016 and valued at $1-2bn three years later. In the words of Darth Vader: impressive.
Posted on Reply
#14
notb
ratirt
Intel will move away from desktop market for good and this acquisition is telling a lot about Intel's plans.
You're using "CPUs" and "desktops" interchangeably and it's making your posts confusing.
Desktops are already a thing of the past - at least outside of gaming.
They're kept by DIY enthusiasts, so component makers try to monetize on this (just like car makers still making V8 engines and Leica still in business making 60-years-old camera bodies).

Intel focused on mobile and servers over 10 years ago.

CPUs are a different story. Intel is not going to sacrifice anything. In fact they keep growing.
I been wondering what would the motives be for a washing machine to kill the owner. Dirty house might not be right. The robot house keeper's to blame :p Humans are save :D
That's because for an AI it's easier to judge and punish than to feel empathy etc. So it will try to kill you if this maximizes a utility function (i.e. it thinks your death is good for it or for community).

Think about people with road rage. They see someone forcing the right of way or parking on grass and they'll say all kind of stuff: kill him, throw a rock, call the police. Most of the time they won't do anything. A machine would. :)

But yeah... for a machine to be able to kill you or flood your house, you'd have to implement an instruction that does it. So don't. :)
Self aware computers that can make complex decisions and expand their code when needed... that's a distant future. But it's 100% possible.
Posted on Reply
#15
ratirt
notb
You're using "CPUs" and "desktops" interchangeably and it's making your posts confusing.
Not sure what confuses you. CPU as a product, a processor and desktop market as a branch of the computer industry.
I don't think Intel is out of desktop market yet. (gaming doesn't envelop entire desktop market actually it is not even worth mentioning here) There's still a lot of sales for Intel in that department. Inter is slowly moving away from it. AI and accelerators for concrete purpose is What Intel is after.

notb
That's because for an AI it's easier to judge and punish than to feel empathy etc. So it will try to kill you if this maximizes a utility function (i.e. it thinks your death is good for it or for community).

Think about people with road rage. They see someone forcing the right of way or parking on grass and they'll say all kind of stuff: kill him, throw a rock, call the police. Most of the time they won't do anything. A machine would. :)

But yeah... for a machine to be able to kill you or flood your house, you'd have to implement an instruction that does it. So don't. :)
Self aware computers that can make complex decisions and expand their code when needed... that's a distant future. But it's 100% possible.
Surprised you went forward with this. As a sarcasm and a joke, it didn't have to be commented or explained pointing out machines don't have feelings but I get it :)
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#17
notb
ratirt
Not sure what confuses you. CPU as a product, a processor and desktop market as a branch of the computer industry.
I don't think Intel is out of desktop market yet. (gaming doesn't envelop entire desktop market actually it is not even worth mentioning here) There's still a lot of sales for Intel in that department. Inter is slowly moving away from it. AI and accelerators for concrete purpose is What Intel is after.
And you did it again.
You say: Intel is slowly moving away from desktops and they're after AI and accelerators.
And what about the rest of the processor market? The "larger rest" to be exact. :)

As I said: they're not focusing on desktops for 10-15 years already.
It's a market they're making a lot of money from, but they're not going to spend on long-time investments, because these just wouldn't pay off.
Mobile, servers, IoT - these are the hardware markets worth investing in.
"AI" is just a umbrella-term for some technology. It's not a product. It'll be in everything (desktops as well), but it's not something Intel can sell as a hardware maker.
Surprised you went forward with this. As a sarcasm and a joke, it didn't have to be commented or explained pointing out machines don't have feelings but I get it :)
I'm not sure why that would be seen as a joke. It's in our future.
Computers will be able to feel emotions at some point (or do something extremely close), but you don't need emotions to kill someone. Deciding that it's beneficial is enough. AI cars are being programmed for this already.
Posted on Reply
#18
ratirt
notb
And you did it again.
You say: Intel is slowly moving away from desktops and they're after AI and accelerators.
And what about the rest of the processor market? The "larger rest" to be exact. :)
I don't understand your problem really. Your way of perceiving English is weird. I don't mention other markets because I'm talking and focusing on desktop market (as my choice, it is self explanatory and your question about it is basically pointless) cause that is what is changing at the moment (in relation to Habana labs acquisition by Intel and changes that are going with this event) and wanted to express myself about that particular subject not others (pointed by you) and yet it confuses you. Since intel is buying the Habana labs, it means all other markets (that you are so concerned about and asking me why I don't mention them) are getting the support (AI or acceleration for certain tasks like in the server market for instance, but there's more) and desktop market isn't and for me that is important. Never said Intel was focusing on desktop markert, meaning if this one thing was Intel's goal, but instead Intel is present in the desktop market and now it would seem Intel is dropping it completely and Habana Labs acquisition is directly telling me this is what is happening.

notb
I'm not sure why that would be seen as a joke. It's in our future.
Computers will be able to feel emotions at some point (or do something extremely close), but you don't need emotions to kill someone. Deciding that it's beneficial is enough. AI cars are being programmed for this already.
I joked about it and sarcastically asked about the machine motives to kill it's master. For me that is simply a joke in a form of abstraction as events like that can't happen in real life. If you don't see that as a joke then maybe you are "one of them"? (joke again btw)
Don't get cocky with the phrase "it's in our future". Nobody knows what's in store for humankind and if it's going to happen it's in far, far future. I doubt we have a decade for AI to rise against humankind. Don't watch sci-fi too much.
BTW to kill someone you can't have emotions, be emotionless and empty inside, not that you don't need emotions. You don't need emotions to cook a meal or mow the lawn for instance.
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