US tech giant Intel Corp. is in advanced talks to buy Israeli startup Habana Labs, a Caesarea-based chip maker for $1 billion to $2 billion, Calcalist reported Tuesday, without saying where it got the information.
If the deal goes through, it would make it Intel’s second-largest acquisition in Israel, Calcalist said, after the US firm bought Mobileye, a maker of autonomous car technologies, in 2017.
Last year, Intel Capital, the investment arm of the US firm, invested in Habana Labs, a maker of artificial intelligence-based processors and chips, as part of a $75 million series B funding round for the startup. The Israeli firm has raised some $120 million to date, according to Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks Israel’s tech industry.
Habana Labs, founded in 2016 by David Dahan and Ran Halutz, uses artificial intelligence to improve the processing performance of chips and lower their costs and power consumption. The processors are aimed at the specific needs of training deep neural networks.
The startup’s first processor, Goya, is already being sold to customers worldwide, and the firm in June this year introduced its Gaudi AI training processor solution.
The company designs the chips and outsources their manufacturing. It has offices in Tel Aviv and San Jose, California; Beijing, China; and Gdansk, Poland; and employs 150 people worldwide, according to company data.
Intel declined to comment. Habana Labs did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.