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McDermott International has said it has been awarded a substantial contract award from a Middle East customer for engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) services in the Arabian ......
|Description||McDermott International has said it has been awarded a substantial contract award from a Middle East customer for engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) services in the Arabian Gulf. McDermott said on Thursday that the value of the contact is between $500 million and $750 million but did not reveal the name of the client. The contract for new facilities includes the full suite of EPCI services for six new offshore jackets as well as three associated topsides. The project scope also includes eight kilometers (4.9 miles) of 28-inch corrosion resistant alloy cladded pipeline, two inter-platform bridges, eight kilometers (4.9 miles) of composite cables as well as brownfield works at the existing offshore facilities. The duration of the work is expected to be approximately 34 months and the contract award will be reflected in McDermott’s first quarter 2019 backlog. McDermott plans to use its engineering teams in the Middle East and Chennai, with fabrication primarily taking place at McDermott’s facilities in Batam, Indonesia. Vessels Emerald Sea, Derrick Barge 30, and Derrick Barge 50 from McDermott’s global fleet are scheduled to undertake the installation and completions work.|
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TechnipFMC has been awarded by Petrobras a large engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for the Mero 1 pre-salt field, located in the Santos Basin, at 2,100 meters of ......
|Description||TechnipFMC has been awarded by Petrobras a large engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for the Mero 1 pre-salt field, located in the Santos Basin, at 2,100 meters of water depth offshore Brazil. The contract was awarded on behalf of the Libra Consortium, comprised of Petrobras, Shell, Total, CNOOC Limited, CNPC and Pré-Sal Petróleo (PPSA). For TechnipFMC, a large contract is between $500 million and $1 billion. TechnipFMC said on Wednesday that the contract covers engineering, procurement, construction of all rigid lines, as well as the installation and pre-commissioning of all the infield riser and flowline system for interconnecting 13 wells (6 production and 7 water alternate gas) to the FPSO. It also includes the installation of rigid pipelines (including corrosion resistant alloy and steel lazy wave risers), flexible risers and flowlines, steel tube umbilicals and other required subsea equipment. Arnaud Piéton, President Subsea at TechnipFMC, commented: “We are extremely honored to have been selected to execute this EPCI project for the Mero 1 pre-salt field in Brazil. We are looking forward to collaborating with the Libra Consortium in the development of this important project.” The company runs a global Subsea Technology Center, which focuses on subsea production systems and flexible pipes. TechnipFMC also operates a fleet of 8 specialized vessels based in Brazil, which includes the recently named Skandi Olinda, a Brazilian-built pipe lay support vessel. The Mero FPSO will be installed in on Mero field, located in the northwestern area of the Libra block, about 180 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, in the pre-salt of the Santos basin. The unit will be operated by Modec, the company responsible for the construction, and chartered for 22 years. Part of the construction will be carried out in Brazil. Namely, Modec recently awarded a contract to Brazil’s offshore construction specialist, the Estaleiros do Brasil Ltda. (EBR), for the fabrication and assembly of a number of topsides process modules for the Mero FPSO system, the FPSO Guanabara MV31.|
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Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance inaugurated Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque, as part of its global network of businesses and declared its intention to expand strongly into France’s industrial supply c ......
|Description||Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance inaugurated Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque, as part of its global network of businesses and declared its intention to expand strongly into France’s industrial supply chain. In the presence of the French Minister of Action and Public Accounts, Gérald Darmanin, Mr Gupta joined staff and up to 350 guests in Dunkerque to formally welcome Europe’s largest smelter, bought from Rio Tinto for around US$500m in December last year, into the GFG fold. GFG aims to make the 570-worker plant the hub of an extensive manufacturing supply chain providing materials and components for French industry, particularly the automotive sector. The site currently produces 285,000 tonnes of primary aluminium a year. In confirming this commitment, the British-owned business became one of the first to respond to President Emmanuel Macron’s call during the high-profile ‘Choose France Summit’ this week for more inward investment into the country. Mr Gupta, who was among over 100 international company chiefs at the President’s summit in Versailles, also announced today that Liberty Wheels France, already a major customer of the Dunkerque smelter, has won it first major contract since the London-headquartered Alliance took over the plant in May last year. From June, Liberty Wheels France will supply the specialist French micro-car manufacturer Ligier with up to around 40% of its annual requirement for alloy wheels. It is the first contract won since the Alliance acquired the facility, which is the only aluminium wheel manufacturer in France. The group has since implemented a turnaround plan to improve the plant’s efficiency and productivity. The Minister of Action and Public Accounts, Gérald Darmanin said: "I wanted to be here today for the inauguration of Liberty Aluminum because this is an important moment for the industrial renewal of Dunkirk and the Hauts-de-France region. The acquisition of this smelter by the GFG Alliance is also a strong symbol of the French economic attractiveness instilled by the Government. I salute the commitment of Mr. Sanjeev Gupta and his teams in this long-term industrial project. It testifies to their confidence in the exceptional know-how of the men and women who work in this foundry of Loon Plage." Speaking of the week’s events, Sanjeev Gupta said: “In a week where I joined other business leaders from around the world in Paris to celebrate France’s attractiveness to foreign investors, I am delighted to be able show two positive examples of why GFG invested here. “Firstly I am proud to welcome Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque to the GFG Alliance. Our aim is to make this site and the highly skilled women and men who work there, the cornerstone of our integrated industrial business in France. We will work with local management and staff to develop new products which create even more added-value to the aluminium produced there, both sustaining and creating high-value jobs. “We welcome our new colleagues in the knowledge and with pride that they will continue to supply our wheel manufacturing business who are themselves turning their own fortunes around. Together Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque and Liberty Wheels France symbolise our integrated supply chain and business model in action. What we now have is a further French car manufacturer being supplied with wheels ‘made in France’ made out of aluminium from our smelter also ‘made in France’. This is the best reminder, if we ever needed one, of why we chose to invest in France”. Managing Director of Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque, Guillaume de Goÿs, said: “Aluminium Dunkerque is very pleased to see the Liberty flag flying at our site. We are eager to play our role within the French supply chain, to support our customers and partners and through doing so, to become known as a Centre of Excellence for Aluminium. We have an ambitious programme to maximise the value of the aluminium we currently produce and to become a preferred supplier to the automotive and other growing industries in France. We’re looking forward to making that journey shoulder to shoulder with our Alliance partners and colleagues.” Speaking of the Ligier contract win, COO of Liberty Engineering Mainland Europe Philippe Baudon said: “Winning the contract to supply Ligier is a significant step for our Chateauroux site and for GFG in France. Since taking over the site last year, management and staff have all worked tirelessly to turn the site around – to implement the operational and cultural changes needed to make us more competitive and attract new customers. I am delighted that this hard work is starting to pay off – we know that we faced stiff competition from both Asia and eastern Europe for this deal and we know that our adaptability, technical expertise, competitiveness and proximity to Ligier’s own operations were all factors in this success. Work is already underway to start delivering Ligier’s first batch of French-made wheels in June as part of what I hope will be a close and ongoing partnership”.|
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Zambia is set to construct the largest manganese smelting plant in the country at a whopping cost of US $15m. The project which will be under a Chinese company, Hu-Cheng Mining LTD, will be located ......
|Description||Zambia is set to construct the largest manganese smelting plant in the country at a whopping cost of US $15m. The project which will be under a Chinese company, Hu-Cheng Mining LTD, will be located in Kapiri Mposhi district, in Central Province. The smelter will have capacity to process 40, 000 tonnes of manganese, which will produce steel alloy plates, to be used in the manufacturing of iron related products such as iron sheets and machinery. “This plant we are constructing here will be the biggest in Zambia, we have a similar plant in China were we are processing raw manganese into semi-finished steel alloy so this one is a model of that plant in China,” said Yan Li, Hu-Cheng Mining LTD Production Director. Also Read:Kenya to construct US $197m incineration plant Empowering local manganese miners Construction is expected to be complete and handed over in July 2019. It will help create over 200 job opportunities, and social responsibility programmes will be initiated for local people in the district. 400 permanent jobs will also be created. Li also noted that the company will empower local manganese miners as Kapiri Mposhi, Mkushi and Serenje districts with mining equipment to enhance their mining capacity, in order to sustain the supply of the required manganese feed-stock to the plant. “Small scale miners will have no challenge to supply us with manganese because we are going to supply them with machinery such as excavators and transfer mining skills to them to mine the ore to supply us to sustain the plant. The construction of the manganese plant and other investments coming to the district will help the local authority increase its revenue base,” said Yan Li. Challenge in electricity supply However, Mr Li notes that electricity will be a challenge during the construction process due to the high voltage of electricity supply needed at the plant. He said his company has since presented a request to ZESCO for supply the plant with a 33 kilo-volt line. “We set up this plant in Kapiri Mposhi because the area is strategically located and has enough manganese deposits to sustain the plant,” said Mr. Li.|
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Malaysian mid-tier companies are looking at the Philippines as their “go-to” market for investments in energy, automotive, building construction materials and food. Sharimahron Mat Saleh, deputy chie ......
|Description||Malaysian mid-tier companies are looking at the Philippines as their “go-to” market for investments in energy, automotive, building construction materials and food. Sharimahron Mat Saleh, deputy chief executive officer of Malaysia External Trade Development Corp., said Starken AAC Sdn Bhd, one of the select companies taking part at the Market Immersion Mission to the Philippines until Thursday, eyes to strike a deal with local counterparts for the manufacture of pre-cast concrete as soon as they identify sources of raw materials. Sharimahron said Starken and other Malaysian firms are keen on the Philippines’ Build, Build, Build infrastructure promoting their expertise in four areas of construction: underground infrastructure work; building infrastructure management; pre-cast construction and integrated building system and facility management on energy savings. Mid-tier companies are those classified as having annual revenues of at least $12 million. Other companies in the mission are Lubetech Sdn Bhd, MMK Spices Sdn Bhd, Life Water Industries Sdn Bhd, Plus Solar System Sdn Bhd, Sharimahron said Malaysia is the Philippines ‘ fourth largest investor. Total approved investments stood at $69 million in the first half of the year, surpassing the $9.4-million registered in the whole of 2017. Among the major Malaysian investors present with the Philippines are Shangrila, Genting, Petronas, Berjaya, Alloy MTD and AirAsia. Total trade between the two countries for January to September is $4.79 billion with trade in favor of Malaysia whose exports amounted to $3.1 billion during the period.|
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A steel mill that’s emerged as the most sought-after asset in India’s crackdown on delinquent borrowers will cost its purchaser at least $1 billion more than bargained for, after the Supreme Court sai ......
|Description||A steel mill that’s emerged as the most sought-after asset in India’s crackdown on delinquent borrowers will cost its purchaser at least $1 billion more than bargained for, after the Supreme Court said bidders must clear the dues of any companies related to them to stay in the race. The world’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal and a VTB Capital-led consortium have been vying for Essar Steel India Ltd., which came on the block after India’s central bank ordered lenders to push it into bankruptcy proceedings last year. Since then, both parties have opposed each other’s eligibility under a rule that disallowed bidders with links to a defaulter from being part of the process, which has already seen two rounds of bidding. Billionaire Lakshmi Mittal’s steelmaker questioned the eligibility of the VTB-led Numetal Ltd. group because, in the initial round of bidding, it included a company that is backed by the son of one of Essar’s founders. The company wasn’t part of the second round, but the Supreme Court held on Thursday that the Numetal consortium remained a related party to Essar Steel. That would mean Numetal will have to pay off the bad loans of the entire Essar group if it wants to remain a bidder, lawyers involved in the case said, asking not to be identified as they are not authorized by their clients to speak to media. An Essar spokesman declined to comment. ArcelorMittal itself will have to pay off 70 billion rupees in dues of group companies. Good Asset “The court decision will make it difficult for Numetal to compete for the asset,” said Sanjiv Bhasin, executive vice president at IIFL Securities Ltd. “As for ArcelorMittal, they will look to pay all their outstanding dues, as Essar is a very good asset, the steel market is in an upcycle and Arcelor wants to get into the Indian market.” Thursday’s Supreme Court judgment was another twist in the battle for Essar Steel, which was one of the so-called “dirty dozen” -- debtors that the central bank ordered be taken through the bankruptcy courts in June last year. The steel assets attracted a slew of potential bidders including Mittal’s fellow mining billionaire Anil Agarwal and top producers in India and Japan, all lured by soaring prices for the metal and India’s infrastructure spending. Click here for more on how India’s bankruptcy law has spurred M&A Essar Steel, which can produce 10 million metric tons of the alloy annually, owes creditors about 508 billion rupees ($6.9 billion). The Essar group’s holdings are spread across metals and mining, energy, infrastructure and services. ArcelorMittal dues are related to KSS Petron Pvt. Ltd. and Uttam Galva Steels Ltd. The steelmaker transferred the amount to an escrow account with the State Bank of India as a pledge to pay off the outstanding debts, people familiar with the matter said in May. The Luxembourg-based company wants confirmation from Essar Steel’s lenders that it has won the bidding before paying off the bad loans, a separate person familiar said last month. ArcelorMittal and Numetal have both offered to pay 420 billion rupees for the mill. To stay in the race, both bidders have two weeks to settle any outstanding dues of companies considered related entities. Once that’s out of the way, India’s Supreme Court has effectively opened up a third round of bidding, with lenders given eight weeks to choose the best bid.|
McDermott International has completed the contract for phase two of the Greater Western Flank project for Woodside in Australia. The contract was awarded to McDermott by Woodside Energy Ltd in Januar ......
|Description||McDermott International has completed the contract for phase two of the Greater Western Flank project for Woodside in Australia. The contract was awarded to McDermott by Woodside Energy Ltd in January 2016. Announcing the completion of the project for Woodside, McDermott said on Tuesday it was responsible for the procurement, fabrication, installation and testing of a series of pipeline buckle initiators, pipeline end terminations and foundation mudmats, in-line tee structures and approximately 21 miles (35 kilometers) of a 16-inch (40 centimeters) corrosion resistant alloy (CRA) pipeline extending from the existing Goodwyn A Platform to the Lady Nora and Pemberton field manifold locations. “One of the key challenges of the project was to perform installation work inside the 546 yards (500 meters) safety zone of Woodside’s Goodwyn A Platform,” said Vince Vieraitis, McDermott’s GWF-2 Project Director. “Through close collaboration with the client, the project was delivered in full compliance to project specifications with zero lost time incidents.” McDermott deployed two of its specialty vessels to complete the installation phase, namely DLV 2000 for the pipelay campaign and the Lay Vessel 108 for the pre-lay and post-lay campaign. McDermott also set up an onshore portable and temporary double jointing facility at its Batam fabrication yard in Indonesia to simulate the offshore installation campaign. First gas by 2018-end The Greater Western Flank Phase 2 fields lie in water depths varying between 262 feet (80 meters) and 426 feet (130 meters) at approximately 29 to 37 miles (40 to 60 kilometers) southwest of the Goodwyn A Platform, located off the northwest coast of western Australia. It includes the development of eight wells from the Keast, Dockrell, Lady Nora, Pemberton, Sculptor and Rankin fields. Gas production is tied-back via the pipeline end termination, in-line tees and subsea pipeline to the platform. The project is expected to achieve first gas by the end of this year.|
Three of the best and brightest names in design, master planning and construction have come together to tackle what could be a mammoth of a project that would put Clark in the economic map of the coun ......
|Description||Three of the best and brightest names in design, master planning and construction have come together to tackle what could be a mammoth of a project that would put Clark in the economic map of the country and raise the benchmark in Philippine design and construction. In what could best exemplify the modern-day bayanihan, the development of New Clark City marks the first time Budji+Royal Architecture+Design, Aecom and Alloy Clark — in cooperation with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) — would collaborate. A key component of this ambitious project in the sprawling 9,450-hectare portion of the former American military base in the environs of Tarlac is the 200-hectare National Government Administrative Center (NGAC), as the name suggests the hub of government offices outside Metro Manila. Construction of Phase 1A of NGAC, site of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which the Philippines will be hosting, is now in full swing. Filipino architecture Architect Royal Pineda of Budji+Royal sees the New Clark City as an opportunity to highlight the modern Philippine sensibility of design that goes beyond aesthetics; it is a showcase of Filipino identity in its most responsive and practical sense. “Budji+Royal was brought in to bring the soul of modern Philippine sensibility that celebrates the `Filipino-ness’ inside us. But we need to be progressive; it needs to go with the times. The modern Filipino lifestyle has evolved and is in fact global,” said Pineda. For Budji+Royal, New Clark City will be a “gift of luxury” that the Philippines can offer the world in terms of its design-honest to its environment, authentic in its purpose. Pineda drew parallelism to the “bahay kubo” (nipa hut) in conceiving the design of the buildings. “The bahay kubo was designed based on logic. The floor was raised because it gets muddy when it rains; the roof is pitched high to shield the family from the rain. All of those were reactions to the needs of that time. The essence of bahay kubo is not the look but the truthfulness. The bahay kubo was representative of that era. We need to present our own era by just being honest. But we have to respond; we don’t need to copy from somewhere else, “ Pineda said. “In Philippine architecture, there is always that confusion because of our history of having been colonized. They say we have been the melting pot… (I say) let us graduate from that. It is all about authenticity. Influence is good; it’s fine but you have to discover why it is good for the Filipino lifestyle. If it is not our own discovery, we cannot claim it,” Pineda said. This project would be so authentic that it is practical, he said. For one, the development is will integrate lahar concrete in the structures such as panels and walls, making use of the abundant volcanic debris left by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991 in the provinces of Tarlac and Pampanga. In using lahar for some of the structures, Pineda said New Clark City will be defining a standard for the material. “This is not a backyard thing because we are building a city, not just a house. There is modularity and multiplicity so there should be precision. Lahar is a good material but you need to add modernity, add technology in the system of putting it together,” Pineda said. A technology applied to the process will make the structures bullet-proof and water-proof. Smart and resilient In its masterplan, New Clark City was conceived by urban planning experts Aecom and the other collaborators Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) of Japan and Surbana Jurong of Singapore as the new metropolis of the future: smart, green and resilient. “When we started New Clark City we looked at the broader context of BCDA wanting it to be the Clark Green City back then (while pursuing its mandate in) the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. BCDA had wanted the city to act as a catalyst of development. New Clark City (aims to) do away with the obstacles of congestion, and deal with the disasters. Resilience, that was the birth of New Clark City,” said Sylvester Wong, vice president for strategies and development of Aecom. Wong said the beauty of Tarlac and Pampanga and the unique and strategic location of Clark may have been among the reasons why the Americans chose it as the site of their Air Force base. “It was a resilient place with resources,” he said. The planners had those characteristics in mind in planning New Clark City As international master planners, Aecom pursues infrastructure development that are fully-integrated. “We think wholistically. We are a platform to bring best practices and expertise in city planning to local practitioners,” Wong added. Wong said while BCDA has had quite a success in land conversion with Bonifacio Global City (BGC) which rose from the former Fort Bonifacio in Taguig, the magnitude of New Clark City — which is over 30 times the size of BGC — makes the development a monstrous task. Yet Wong sees this as a lesson for the planners: Not to make the same mistakes now plaguing BGC. “BGC and New Clark City are different. In the past 10 years of BGC’s development, there has been a lot of successes but a lot of challenges as well,” said Wong, citing the lack of affordable housing for workers and of transport links in BGC. Designed to be a walkable place, New Clark City will have commercial, retail, and residential buildings close together that they would be within a five-minute walk one another. “New Clark City gives us a chance to give those principles . With the walkability of New Clark City, people don’t have to bring their cars to work, taking the pressure off the road,” Wong said. Those things are carefully thought of, he added. “Every place has a carrying capacity and with good planning, we could determine how much activity that place can support, how many movements and occupancy, and how much resources these will take up,” Wong said. According to Wong, the planners had at the very start decided to dedicate 60 percent of the development to open spaces and leave the conservation areas alone with due respect to the indigenous peoples inhabiting the place. No pressure In October 2019 or in just over a year, Alloy Clark should be able to deliver Phase 1A in time for the SEA Games the following month. With limited time (18 months) and for the same budget (P13 billion), Alloy Clark is confident it would be able to deliver this phase ahead of schedule, according to its president Patrick Nicholas David. “That is what we signed up for and we knew what we were getting into,” David said. David said construction of all the features of Phase 1A is on 24/7, with 7 of the country’s best contractors mobilizing equipment and materials and 1,500 workers on site. Some of the concrete slabs are pre-cast offsite and then assembled in the area so ground works on site would proceed unhindered. “We are moving simultaneously. We are targeting 5-percent achievement each month to complete the project in 18 months. In fact we are building the stadium at half the time (it takes for stadiums to be normally built),” said David. Phase 1A will house government residences totalling 500 rooms to be used initially by the athletes in the SEA Games. It will also have a separate athletes village comprising 500 units that can accommodate 1,000 athletes. A world-class Sports Complex with an Aquatics and Athletics Center will serve as venue for the athletics and water sports events. The Stadium will have a seating capacity of 20,000 while the Aquatic Center will have a seating capacity of 2,000. Simultaneously, Alloy Clark is coordinating with the BCDA for the utilities like power, water, drainage, telecommunication and sewer lines to make sure these are ready to accept future improvements in the first government office which would be delivered in Phase 1 A. Alloy Clark is well aware of BCDA’s objective to have a facility that could be used after the games. “Part of the program is that (Phase 1A) is not just for the now. BCDA is spending time and effort to have a legacy plan after the SEA Games, not just one and done. There is legacy planning,” David said. David said available technology and smart planning would future-proof New Clark City for generations. That considered, the engineering will be ahead of the curve, and well prepared for climate change. For example, the river walkway within the area will also act as a flood mitigating structure. “We know we can execute a better city… not just on the drawing board but according to the masterplan,” David said. Connectivity is an advantage in New Clark City. Linked to the capital by roads and bridges via McArthur highway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and the North Luzon Expressway, New Clark City will offer easy access as well through the planned rail project between Metro Manila and Clark as well as the proposed cargo rail between Subic and Clark and the development of the airport in Subic. Pineda said Phase 1A, when delivered, will send a strong message. “It can change the infrastructure standard in the country.” “Every contractor and developer has to somehow be at par. It will be raising the bar (of construction),” Pineda said. New Clark City is one of the BCDA’s projects under the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program.|
Italian contractor Saipem has been awarded a pipeline project in the E&C offshore sector in the Middle East worth approximately $1.3 billion. The Italian company said on Monday that the contract inv ......
|Description||Italian contractor Saipem has been awarded a pipeline project in the E&C offshore sector in the Middle East worth approximately $1.3 billion. The Italian company said on Monday that the contract involves engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) activities associated to two 32-inch export pipelines, two 24-inch Corrosion-Resistant Alloy (CRA) intrafield pipelines, risers, spool pieces and subsea structures also entailing a short onshore section and offshore brownfield topsides modifications. The award includes the novation of substantial CRA Linepipe and long lead items contracts, Saipem added. No further details have been revealed about the contract.|
For years, Intel has traded in a familiar brand of computing. It creates the tiny processors inside desktop computers, laptops, and data centers powering internet services like email. But lately the c ......
|Description||For years, Intel has traded in a familiar brand of computing. It creates the tiny processors inside desktop computers, laptops, and data centers powering internet services like email. But lately the chipmaker has eyed specialized processors that handle images better than keystrokes.
Last year, Intel licensed chip technology from General Vision, a small machine vision chipmaker, for its wearable Curie module. Earlier this year, the company said it was buying Itseez, a startup that writes machine vision algorithms for different types of hardware. Brian Krzanich, Intel’s chief executive, has stressed that its FPGA chips can be used for processing and classifying images.
On Tuesday, Intel added to its stockpile of machine vision hardware, announcing plans to buy chip startup Movidius. With customers like Google and Lenovo, the startup is known for making low-power SoCs that find patterns and recognize objects in images.
The chips consume so little power that they can perform image recognition without help from the cloud. That, according to Josh Walden, general manager of Intel’s New Technology Group, makes them ideal for tiny connected devices that make decisions based on what they see. That includes everything from smartphones and drones to security cameras and drones, he said in a blog post.
“Computer vision will trigger a Cambrian explosion of compute,” said Walden, referring to the evolutionary event that started more than 540 million years ago and produced most of the major animal groups on earth.
Movidius’ chips are based on its vision processing unit (VPU), which takes tricky machine vision tasks out of the main processor’s hands. A standard processor would consume too much power and generate too much heat handling the same tasks. VPUs sip a few hundred milliwatts, making it sensitive to the batteries inside tiny devices.
In addition to the hardware, Movidius also develops algorithms for deep learning, a type of program that forms abstract concepts by studying huge amounts of data. Movidius’ chips are efficient enough to conduct deep learning tasks, like identifying objects, inside devices. Usually, these tasks are carried out in the cloud, which handles most of the processing.
Intel said that it would work toward using Movidius’ chips with its RealSense 3D cameras, which are designed to sense depth and track human motion. The combination, according to Intel’s Walden, could be used in technologies ranging from collision avoidance for drones to eye tracking for virtual reality headsets.
Intel has fiercely promoted its RealSense camera in recent years. At the Intel Developers Conference last month, it was the focal point of several big announcements, including Intel’s Project Alloy virtual reality headset and autonomous drone piloting system. A new version of the RealSense camera also factored into the new Euclid and Joule modules.
“When computers can see, they can become autonomous and that’s just the beginning,” said Remi El-Ouazzane, Movidius’ chief executive, in a blog post about the deal. He said that merging Intel’s cameras with Movidius’ chips will enable devices to “understand their surroundings and navigate accordingly.”
Investors have also acknowledged the potential for Movidius’ vision chips. Founded in 2006, the fabless chipmaker defied investor apathy for chip startups and raised $86.5 million in funding. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company has about 180 employees.
Movidius also supplies chips to the same hardware makers that Intel is courting with its own processors. Google used the chips inside its Project Tango tablets and later licensed Movidius’ processor design for other devices. In June, Lenovo said that it is using Movidius’ vision chips in its virtual reality headsets. The chipmaker has also worked with drone manufacturer DJI and thermal camera maker FLIR.
Neither company revealed terms of the deal.
But Intel has not been stingy in acquiring new chip designs. It paid $16.7 billion last year to acquire Altera's FPGA technology. Last month, technology news site Recode reported that Intel paid over $400 million for Nervana Systems, a start-up making server chips for artificial intelligence. Founded in 2014, Nervana had raised $24.4 million in funding.
For Intel, the acquisition marks its latest bet on the Internet of Things, which it has said is the fastest growing part of the company. It represents another ripple from Intel’s decision this year to eliminate 12,000 jobs, most of which are related to its PC business.
El-Ouazzane said that Movidius dovetails with Intel other business efforts around cloud computing and 5G wireless networks.
“Movidius has been attacking this challenge from the device level,” he said in a blog post. “At Intel, we will be part of a team that is attacking this challenge from the cloud, through the network, and on the device.”