Intel is investing more than $24 million in software companies that touch on areas that the giant chip maker is particularly interested in, including cloud computing.
In all, Intel Capital-the vendor's investment arm-will spread the money among seven software makers.
The investments, announced Sept. 8, highlights Intel's ongoing interest in building out its software capabilities, and importance of tightly integrating software into its hardware platforms.
"The best computing experiences unite leading-edge hardware with amazing software," Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president, said in a statement. "These investments in best-of-breed software vendors play an integral part in Intel's software strategy by fueling the creation of compelling and unique user experiences across devices. They also demonstrate our stage-agnostic approach to investing in support of this ecosystem."
Intel over the past few years has been aggressive in building out its software capabilities in a number of areas, including security, mobility, embedded computing and cloud services. For example, Intel last year bought security software vendor McAfee of $7.6 billion, a move designed to enable the chip maker to integrate greater security capabilities into its processors. Intel officials said greater security will become increasingly important as they grow the company's presence in mobile devices.
In March, Intel bought SYSDsoft, which makes wireless networking software, particularly in the area of 4G LTE (long-term evolution) connectivity. The move was made as Intel looks to drive its technology into the lucrative and highly competitive smartphone and tablet markets, which currently is dominated by chip designs by ARM Holdings and its OEM partners, including Qualcomm and Nvidia.
Intel executives also say the company will continue developing the open-source MeeGo mobile operating system, despite ex-partner Nokia's decision to ditch MeeGo and adopt Microsoft's Windows Phone OS. Intel officials this week also disputed news reports that they were planning to give up on the Linux-based operating system.
Among the companies receiving money in the latest round of investments is DynamicOps, of Burlington, Mass., whose operations virtualization technology enables businesses to quickly grow their traditional IT infrastructure into on-demand and public cloud services. Using the company's Cloud Development Kit, enterprises can create cloud services. DynamicOps also dovetails with Intel's CloudBuilder initiative to offer a cloud software ecosystem that's optimized for the Intel architecture.
Denver-based IP Commerce offers a platform-as-a-service (PAAS) solution for such retail tasks as managing payments, security, underwriting risk, network connectivity and integration. enLighted, of Sunnyvale, Calif., offers software for commercial energy management environments, while Guavus sells software for industry-specific analytics workloads.
Two other vendors use the cloud in the gaming field. San Francisco-based Swrve New Media offers real-time personalization software lets groups involved in the design, production and marketing of social games to test and adjust their games in a cloud environment. Gaikai, of Los Angeles, offers a cloud gaming service that streams 3D video games directly to Web browsers.
Revolution Analytics sells software and services based on the open-source "R" project for statistical computing through its Revolution R Enterprise offering.