Intel said yesterday that it had acquired drone company Ascending Technologies for an undisclosed price. The German-based startup already uses Intel’s RealSense camera technology in some of its UAVs, and the move follows the US firm's investment in Ascending Technologies last year.
Intel isn't the only chipmaker that believes drones are the future; rival Qualcomm has been vocal about entering the UAV market, and led a $50 million funding round for 3D Robotics, North America’s biggest personal drone maker, in February last year.
Intel’s acquisition comes just six months after it invested $60 million in Shanghai drone company Yuneec. The Californian company has previously invested in drone manufacturers Precisionhawk and Airware – a sign of Intel’s belief that the popularity of UAVs will continue to grow.
Intel said that it would be offering Ascending Technologies’ 75 employees jobs at its new parent company.
In a blog post, the company stated that its RealSense tech combined with Ascending technologies’ "best-in-class drone auto-pilot software and algorithm” would improve drone safety.
“With practical applications ranging from disaster response, to infrastructure inspection, to delivery of goods, UAVs offer an incredible opportunity for innovation across a multitude of industries,” Intel said. The company added that it is "positioning itself at the forefront of this opportunity to increasingly integrate the computing, communications, sensor and cloud technology required to make drones smarter and more connected."
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich will no doubt reveal more about the Ascending Technologies acquisition and the company’s views on the drone market during his CES keynote later today.