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Intel looks to drones to bolster IoT business

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Chip designing giant Intel unveiled the Myriad X, a new computer vision microchip designed to be used in drones, according to TechCrunch.

The chip, which has much more advanced image recognition capabilities that the Myriad 2, its predecessor, was designed using technologies from drone chip designer Movidius, which Intel purchased last year for $400 million.

The company didn’t specify exactly what the chip will cost, when it will available to customers, but noted that it will come with the Myriad software development kit to help businesses code the chip.

Pushing into the drone market could be a smart strategy for Intel to fortify its larger IoT business.

  • The Myriad X could help Intel gain a large share of the fast-growing drone space for the first time. Intel’s origins are in chips for PCs, rather than computer vision chips, which has made it challenging for it to gain traction in the drone space in the past. But as companies begin to rely more heavily on drones to stream real-time videos for actionable insights, they’ll need technologies that can process images quickly and easily, which the Myriad X provides better than its predecessor. If firms come to like the chip and demand rises, that could put pressure on drone manufacturers to build the Myriad into more of their products.
  • And that’ll fortify an IoT business that’s already thriving. Intel’s IoT revenue comprises a small share of the firm’s overall revenue, but it’s been growing steadily, posting a 26% annual increase to hit $720 million in Q2 2017. As the drone space is set to rise — spending is poised to increase by 50% to over $12 billion in 2021 — there’s a lucrative opportunity for Intel to get in now and continue to boost its revenue up during that period of high growth.

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