Habana Labs, a developer of deep-learning accelerators for data centers, has been bought by Intel for around $2bn.

The acquisition comes as Intel tries to build up its portfolio of AI chips, which the company expects to be greater than $25 billion by 2024. Intel has said it expects to generate over $3.5 billion in AI-driven revenue this year.

Despite the acquisition, Habana will remain an “independent” business and will continue to be led by its current management team and be based out of Israel. The company will, however, report to Intel’s Data Platforms Group.

– Intel

A chip for every need

David Dahan, CEO of Habana, said: “We have been fortunate to get to know and collaborate with Intel given its investment in Habana, and we’re thrilled to be officially joining the team.”

Navin Shenoy, executive VP and GM of the Data Platforms Group at Intel, added: “This acquisition advances our AI strategy, which is to provide customers with solutions to fit every performance need - from the intelligent edge to the data center.

“More specifically, Habana turbo-charges our AI offerings for the data center with a high-performance training processor family and a standards-based programming environment to address evolving AI workloads.”

But what about Nervana?

Habana's Gaudi AI Training Processor and the Goya AI Inference Processor, compete with Intel's existing range of Nervana NNPs.

Intel's inference and training chips were designed by chip company Nervana, which it acquired in 2016 for about $400m.

The NNP range is the result of a focus on creating cheaper and scalable chips for data centers. Intel told FierceElectronics that the company will "take time to assess this combination [of Habana and Nervana] with input from our customers.

“We plan to take full advantage of our combined IP and expertise to deliver unmatched computing performance and efficiency for AI workloads in the data center.”