“Nervana’s IP and expertise in accelerating deep learning algorithms will expand Intel’s capabilities in the field of AI,” Bryant added.
The Intel Xeon processor E5 family is the most widely deployed processor for deep learning inference and the recently launched Intel Xeon Phi processor delivers the scalable performance needed for deep learning training. “While less than 10 per cent of servers worldwide were deployed in support of machine learning last year, the capabilities and insights it enables makes machine learning the fastest growing form of AI,” the Intel executive said. “We will continue to invest in leading edge technologies that complement and enhance Intel’s AI portfolio,” she added.
Nervana recently raised $25 million in venture funding and also has a contract to work with In-Q-tel, the US intelligence community’s venture arm. According to Rao, the deal did not reflect any hurdles in getting more capital to stay independent.
“Raising money was not the problem. That was going to be relatively easy but by selling to Intel we have access to technology we’d never dream about,” Rao was quoted as saying.