Movidius launches ‘groundbreaking’ new chip

Irish-backed mobile vision tech firm says second generation 20 times more efficient

Movidius, the Irish-backed mobile vision technology firm, has announced the second generation of its cutting-edge chip which it claims is 20 times more efficient than its predecessor

Movidius, the Irish-backed mobile vision technology firm, has announced the second generation of its cutting-edge chip which it claims is 20 times more efficient than its predecessor

 

Movidius, the Irish-backed mobile vision technology firm, has announced the second generation of its cutting-edge chip which it claims is 20 times more efficient than its predecessor.

Called the Myriad 2, the new chip has been especially tuned for power management, allowing it to improve the ability of technology companies to deliver mobile camera technology, augmented reality, 3D scanning, indoor positioning and object recognition. In February Movidius said it had teamed up with Google to bring visual awareness to the next generation of Android- based smart phones in the search giant’s Project Tango.

The company, with operations in Dublin, California and Romania, said its new chip could be used by Google but that it also been approached by other major technology companies interested in using the product to power the next generation of mobile and wearable devices.

Co-founder David Moloney said: “This sets a benchmark for the industry. It delivers phenomenal performance at a power level that makes it usable.

“Currently I think we have something unparalleled in the market but that won’t persist forever,” he added. “What we have is something very unique.”

Mr Moloney said Myriad 2 had many potential uses but he said among its biggest impacts would be that it could make “any environment game-able.”

He said the chip’s speed, low power requirements, price point and other advantages meant it would allow people to play immersible games in any space. “This is groundbreaking for games,” he said.

Embedded vision

Remi El-Ouazzane, chief executive of Movidius said: “As rapid innovations in mobile, wearable and embedded vision applications continue, users expect increasingly sophisticated and immersive experiences that do not compromise the device’s battery life.

“The next disruption in mobile will be about incorporating vision applications into connected devices bringing them closer to the complexity and sophistication of human vision.”

Movidius said the Myriad 2 was a 28-nanometer chip and was capable of performance exceeding two trillion 16-bit operations a second while using only a tiny amount of power.

In July, Movidius raised $16 million (€12.3 million) in a funding round led by DFJ Esprit, Atlantic Bridge and Robert Bosch Venture Capital, a German fund, as it geared up to launch its new technology and develop its business in the US.

Movidius has been nominated as a finalist in the emerging category in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards this year.

It recruited Mr El-Ouazzane as chief executive last year and appointed Dan Dobberpuhl as chairman, as it opened a US headquarters in San Mateo in Silicon Valley.

Mr El-Ouazzane was previously a senior executive at Texas Instruments in the US, while Mr Dobberpuhl was a founder of PA Semi, a company bought by Apple six years ago.

Movidius employs 15 people in Dublin out of its 50 employees in Europe and America. It was founded in 2005 by tech veterans Seán Mitchell, David Moloney and Val Muresan, who all still work with the company.