Intel to buy automotive tech co Mobileye for $14.7 bn

Baburajan K
infotechlead.com

Intel is to set to acquire Mobileye, a supplier for computer vision systems for the automotive industry, for an enterprise value of $14.7 billion.

“The acquisition of Mobileye brings together the assets of Intel’s Xeon processors, FPGAs, 3D XPoint memory, and 5G modems with the world leader in automotive computer vision,” said Intel in a statement issued on Monday.

“The combination of Intel’s computing and connectivity solutions with Mobileye’s computer vision technology will put us in a position to accelerate innovation for car-makers and lead in delivering the technology foundation for autonomous driving,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

Intel will combine its Automated Driving Group with Mobileye to create a new unit that will be headquartered in Israel. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s co-founder, chairman and CTO, will head the new organization.

Intel said the new organization will support both companies’ existing production programs and build upon relationships with automotive OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers and semiconductor partners to develop advanced driving assist, highly autonomous and fully autonomous driving programs.

Intel said its senior vice president Doug Davis will oversee the combined organization’s engagement across Intel’s business groups and will report to Amnon Shashua after the transaction’s closing.

Intel estimates that the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity will be up to $70 billion by 2030. The transaction extends Intel’s strategy to invest in data-intensive market opportunities that build on the company’s strengths in computing and connectivity from the cloud, through the network, to the device.

“By pooling together our infrastructure and resources, we can enhance and accelerate our combined know-how in the areas of mapping, virtual driving, simulators, development tool chains, hardware, data centers and high-performance computing platforms. Together, we will provide an attractive value proposition for the automotive industry,” Ziv Aviram said.

Intel expects that by 2020, autonomous vehicles will generate 4,000 GB of data per day, which plays to Intel’s strengths in high-performance computing and network connectivity. The computing power of autonomous cars creates large-scale opportunities for Intel Xeon processors and EyeQ 4 and EyeQ 5 SoCs, FPGAs, memory, high-bandwidth connectivity, and computer vision technology.

Mobileye termed 2016 was a transition year for the automotive computer technology company. “It was a year in which we were propelled upwards from providing front-facing camera technology for ADAS to offering a value proposition that includes HD-mapping through crowd sourcing (REM), 360 degrees sensing and fusion, and Driving Policy,” said Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua.

Mobileye identified three technological and logistical “pillars” to be mastered in order to accomplish our goals: sensing, mapping and driving policy. Mobileye made technological progress and signed partnerships with BMW, Delphi and HERE. It entered into data collection and sharing agreements for REM with VW and BMW.

Citi and Rothschild serve as financial advisors and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom serves as legal counsel to Intel. Raymond James & Associates serves as financial advisor and Morrison & Foerster serves as legal counsel to Mobileye.

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