Intel becomes part of Silicon Valley’s race into autonomous vehicles

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When Intel‘s CEO addressed investors at last month’s investor day, he firmly insisted that the standard market view of the company as a Silicon Valley stalwart making chips for PCs and servers was not appropriate.

“The way we look at the world is a bit different,” Brian Krzanich stated. “We are a data company.”

Investors would soon find simply how differently Mr Krzanich was looking at Intel’s world. On Monday, he revealed the $15 billion acquisition of Mobileye, a leader in the progressively increasing market for assisted-driving systems– the second-largest deal in Intel’s nearly 50 years of history.

“Together, we anticipate to be the global leader in autonomous driving,” Mr Krzanich stated, “and we see this market as growing to an over $70bn TAM [overall addressable market] by 2030.”

Semiconductor makers are coming for the vehicle market in the hope that the increasing use of electronic in automobiles will balance out a downturn in smartphones and the PC’s decline.

In 2016 Qualcomm paid $47 billion for NXP and Samsung purchased Harman for $8 billion, while Softbank’s $32bn acquisition Arm Holdings, a British multinational semiconductor and software design company, was also partially inspired by the anticipation of smarter, more connected automobiles.

Mobileye, established in Israel in 1999, has pioneered computer-vision systems that can see vehicles, pedestrians and other things on the road, then help lorries prevent them. Its EyeQ chips and cams are set up in 15 million cars, in collaboration with 25 automakers, providing it a market share of approximately 80 percent in “advanced driver assistance systems”.

Intel and Mobileye aims to offer automakers a one-stop shop autonomous driving field.

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