back to article Two startups enter, one leaves: Intel kills off much-delayed Nervana AI training chip, pushes on with Habana

Intel has axed Nervana's in-development NNP-T AI training chip, code-named Spring Crest, as it goes full-steam ahead with Habana's technology. The decision is, no doubt, a blow for the folks at Nervana. The once-promising deep-learning startup was swallowed by Intel for $350m in 2016. Led by its cofounder Naveen Rao, who is …

  1. YourNameHere

    Yet another company killed by intel

    If your expecting to see products out of Intel other than processors and chipsets your mistaken. I can't remember that last company Intel acquired that actually sold a chip. I would love to know how many 100s of billions Intel has spent on acquisitions over the years. Now if your a startup trying to sell your company and don't mind seeing your work destroyed after they give you hundreds of millions, then you gotta love them.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Yet another company killed by intel

      "I can't remember that last company Intel acquired that actually sold a chip."

      Intel (Infineon) XMM cellular modems are used by all laptop manufacturers. My laptop got one.

      I'm not well versed on Intel acquisitions, I don't know how many hardware companies they've bought, except fo C&T, which 20-odd years ago was the basis for their graphics division and probably still lives in their GPUs. (in a shoulder-of-giants kind of way)

      "Now if your a startup trying to sell your company and don't mind seeing your work destroyed after they give you hundreds of millions, then you gotta love them."

      Intel reportedly paid about $400M for a company without any products and with <50 people working for it. I'd be happy to cash in unless I knew the company was worth more than that. Perhaps the original owners thought the same, or perhaps they were running out of money and Intel was their last resort, who knows.

      The article states that Nervana under Intel was still led by its co-founder. Despite Intel's massive resources they couldn't ship a product. Perhaps the product design was faulty from the beginning, or required still unavailable technology, or the co-founder didn't have the skill to lead the project to fruition.

      Icon for poor grammar.

    3. sad_loser

      think like a business

      When [big corp] buys a company for small change, it is not buying the company, it is buying an option to develop that technology buy pumping some more money in, binding the core people in and ring-fencing the IP. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: think like a business

        Binding them in and preventing them from being competition. I know of several bright sparks bought up by MS who trail blazed until assimilated. When you work in fast moving technology that can take a decade or more to reach the market it is cheaper to buy early than EEE at a later date.

  2. RandomIdiot

    Altera? Mobileeye? Maybe overstating your point?

    1. YourNameHere

      Good suggestion. I thought I would look it up. Found 86 for sure. I know they spent about 6-8 billion in the late 90's early 2000's for Cell phones and Arm chips used in them and bought an arm license(Then sold that to Marvel for 600M or so 2006ish) and I don't see those acquisitions on the list so I know this is not even close since the list only goes to about 1999s or so. Plus all of the cell phone acquisitions that they used to get into the cell phone modem again in the last 5-6 years since a certain fruit company was going to buy them and then Intel sold that group to the fruit company for cheap. Since the list starts at 1999 or so, its missing all of the chipset consolidation as well. Each time they get a new CEO, they chase a new shinny object which is about a 4-5 year cycle. The CPU and design and manufacturing they are kings at, although the manufacturing has been their undoing during the last couple years impacting their design in a very "challenging" way and it will be interesting to see how they adapt to new battles but they will catch up again.

      https://acquiredby.co/intel-acquisitions/

      1. theblackhand Silver badge

        Are you thinking of XScale? They may were acquired for around $700m.

        Intel has often acquired companies for IP/licencing rather than improving/expanding the market for the products they have acquired.

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