Intel is acquiring Mobileye, a global leader in advanced driving assistance systems and autonomous driving technology, for $15.3bn (£12.5bn).
Intel agreed to pay $63.54 a share in cash for the Israel-based company in a deal that will see the US chipmaker compete directly with Qualcomm and Nvidia to develop autonomous systems for carmakers.
The acquisition will help Intel expand beyond its core computer semiconductor business into a lucrative new market – driverless vehicle technology.
The US company expects the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be up to $70 billion by 2030.
Betsy Van Hees, analyst at Loop Capital Markets, was quoted by the BBC as saying that “this is a tremendous opportunity for them to get into a market that has significant growth opportunities”.
Timothy Carone, a Notre Dame University academic, said: “Major players are finding ways finding ways to position themselves for a change as seminal as the personal computer revolution.”
Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, said in a statement:
“This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers.
“Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car’s path and making real-time driving decisions. Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers.
“Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers.”
Mr. Ziv Aviram, Mobileye Co-Founder, President and CEO, said:
“We expect the growth towards autonomous driving to be transformative. It will provide consumers with safer, more flexible, and less costly transportation options, and provide incremental business model opportunities for our automaker customers.
“By pooling together our infrastructure and resources, we can enhance and accelerate our combined know-how in the areas of mapping, virtual driving, simulators, development tool chains, hardware, data centers and high-performance computing platforms.
“Together, we will provide an attractive value proposition for the automotive industry.”