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December 3, 2019 11:46 am

Intel in Advanced Talks for Habana Labs Acquisition for Over $1 Billion

avatar by Meir Orbach / CTech

Intel Shooting Star Quadcopters. Photo: courtesy of Intel.

CTech – Intel is in advanced negotiations for the acquisition of artificial intelligence chip developer Habana Labs Ltd., according to one person familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity. The valuation negotiated is between $1 billion and $2 billion, the person said. If the deal is completed, it will be Intel’s second-largest acquisition of an Israeli company, following its $15.3 billion acquisition of automotive chipmaker Mobileye in 2017.

An Intel spokesperson has stated that the company does not respond to rumors.
Habana Labs has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Founded in 2016, Habana Labs develops processors optimized for artificial intelligence applications. The company was founded by David Dahan and Ran Halutz, both former executives at PrimeSense Limited, acquired by Apple for $360 million in 2013. Habana raised $120 million to date, $75 million of the sum in a November 2018 round led by Intel Capital. Other investors include San Francisco-based WRV Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Battery Ventures.
Habana Labs’ first investor and its chairman is Israeli tech entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz, who was one of the founders of Galileo Technologies Ltd., sold in 2001 to Marvell Technology Group Ltd. for $2.7 billion. He also co-founded Annapurna Labs, sold to Amazon for $370 million in 2015.

Habana Labs has a research and development center in Gdańsk, Poland, and employs 150 people overall in Israel, Poland, and San Jose, California. Among its products is Goya, a line of processors for artificial intelligence applications. In June, the company announced Gaudi, an AI training processor.

Intel employs 12,000 people in Israel directly and another 1,100 through its subsidiary Mobileye. A large part of its local employees is based in its Haifa research and development center, where many of Intel’s main chips are developed.

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