Intel buys FPGA provider Omnitek

Omnitek's IP is used in applications with heavy visual processing requirements, such as video conferencing, projection and display, and medical vision systems.

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Intel on Tuesday announced that it's acquiring Omnitek, makers of a programmable chip design for visual processing. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

FPGAs, or field-programmable gate array (FPGA) fabric, is an integrated circuit that can be further configured after manufacturing. Basingstoke, England-based Omnitek has over 220 FPGA IP cores and accompanying software. Intel plans to merge the technology, plus Omnitek's 40 employees, into its Programmable Solutions Group.

Omnitek's IP is used in applications with heavy visual processing requirements, such as video conferencing, projection and display, medical vision systems, and more. Omnitek has also developed IP solutions for use in AI inferencing. Intel said many of cloud service providers, enterprise and embedded customers rely on FPGAs in video and visual-related applications. 

"Omnitek's technology is a great complement to our FPGA business," said Dan McNamara, senior vice president of the programmable solutions group at Intel, in a statement. "Their deep, system-level FPGA expertise and high-performance video and vision-related technology have made them a trusted partner for many of our most important customers. Together, we will deliver leading FPGA solutions for video, vision, and AI inferencing applications on Intel FPGAs and speed time-to-market for our existing customers while winning new ones."

With Omnitek, Intel is hoping to push further into the estimated $8 billion programmable solutions market. The chip giant's 2015 acquisition of Altera marked its most significant purchase in the space and largely served as the basis for Intel's programmable solutions business division.

"From datacenters to devices, compute-intensive applications like 8K video and artificial intelligence require a multitude of innovative compute engines. FPGA devices play an increasingly critical role, often complementing other processing architectures, and Intel is at the center of this revolution," said Omnitek CEO Roger Fawcett in a statement. "Omnitek is excited and extremely proud to bring our intellectual property and engineers to join the talented team in the Intel's Programmable Solutions Group."

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