Intel buys Canadian startup and eyes embedded market

Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:35pm EST
 
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"One of the most exciting areas that is emerging is TV being connected to the Internet," Intel Capital President Arvind Sodhani told reporters.

NEW CHIPS

In September, Intel launched new chips aimed at in-car computers and web-television.

"One of places they have made very little effort has been the embedded world, sticking chips everywhere -- pressure sensors in your tires, digital signage. They see that as a great opportunity to start putting their silicon in places it hasn't been before," said Real World Technologies analyst David Kanter.

Intel declined to say what it paid for CognoVision but said the deal closed in September. Intel processors have powered CognoVision's software applications since at least July 2009.

When a shopper turns to watch a digital display or lingers over a specific sign, for example, CognoVision detects and compiles this information and can even prompt the sign to change its message depending on the age or gender of the viewer.

One of Intel Capital's new investments is in Malaysian start-up Select-TV, which sells to hotels Web-enabled set-top boxes that use Intel's Atom processors, which dominate the netbook niche.

Other investments by Intel Capital were geared toward social media and mobile devices.

Intel Capital is also investing in, and will manufacture silicon wafers on behalf of Lilliputian Systems, a Wilmington, Massachusetts-based firm that plans to make portable butane-powered fuel cells for recharging smartphones and other portable devices.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Andre Grenon and Richard Chang)