Intel officials are predicting that by 2020, 30 percent of the devices and systems making up the Internet of things will need what is called functional safety capabilities. Just like many cars today need Advanced Driver Assistance Systems—or ADAS—to perform such tasks as assisted parking and automatic braking, automated, connected systems in buildings, factories and other environments also will need such functional safety.
Intel, which like other chip makers is making an aggressive push into the rapidly broadening Internet of things (IoT), is bolstering its capabilities by buying Yogitech, a small Italian company that specializes in building functional safety and related standards into semiconductors. With Yogitech in the fold, Intel officials said the chip maker will be able to advance its expertise in such areas as autonomous vehicles, robotics, industrial IoT and other self-operating systems.
"For years, Intel has been providing high-performance IoT systems that allow people and businesses to make better-informed decisions," Ken Caviasca, vice president and general manager of platform engineering and development for Intel's IoT Group, wrote in a post on the company blog. "The industry is now moving from automating data to inform better decisions, to automating actions informed by real-time data."
Customers can see "this evolution in the autonomous vehicle prototypes that nearly all have Intel inside. Functional safety is a requirement for these and other IoT customers," Caviasca wrote.
No financial details about the deal were released.
Intel's IoT Group is a small but fast-growing business unit. Last year, the group generated $2.3 billion, a 7 percent increase over 2014. However, there has been a shakeup at the executive level. In November 2015, CEO Brian Krzanich hired Venkata "Murthy" Renduchintala, a former Qualcomm executive, to become president of the new Client and IoT Businesses and Systems Architecture Group.
Earlier this week it was announced that two longtime Intel veterans—Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group, which includes PCs, and Doug Davis, senior vice president and general manager of the IoT Group—will leave the company. Skaugen's last day is April 8. He has been with Intel since 1992. Davis, who has spent the last 32 years with the chip maker, is retiring at the end of 2016.