May 27, 2024
Intel spins out a new enterprise-focused gen AI software company


Intel, intent on making bigger moves in the market for AI-powered enterprise software, is spinning out a new platform company with the backing of Boca Raton, Florida-based asset manager and investor DigitalBridge.

Called Articul8 AI (an awkward abbreviation of “Articulate AI”), the new entity builds off a proof-of-concept from an Intel collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BSG) early last May. Reuters reports that Intel, using its hardware and a combination of open source and internally-sourced software, created a gen AI system that can read text and images — running inside BCG’s datacenters to address BSG’s security requirements.

The system was developed within Intel over the course of two or so years. But it was more recently fine-tuned for BSG’s specific uses, according to CRN.

Initially, BCG was the sole go-to-market supplier and customer of the system. Over the last few months, however, Intel’s worked to scale the platform — which is optimized for Intel hardware but supports alternatives — to companies in financial services, aerospace, semiconductor, telecommunications and other industries that “require high levels of security and specialized domain knowledge,” according to an Intel spokesperson.

“Articul8’s gen AI software product was built from the ground up to address the needs of enterprises and is optimized for speed of deployment, scalability, security and sustainability — including costs,” the spokesperson told TechCrunch via email. “The Articul8 platform delivers AI capabilities that keep customer data, training and inference within the enterprise security perimeter. The platform also provides customers the choice of cloud, on prem or hybrid deployment.”

Arun Subramaniyan, formerly a VP and GM at Intel’s datacenter and AI group, will become the spin-out’s CEO. The rest of the Articul8 team will also comprise ex-Intel employees, and Intel will retain an undisclosed stake in the firm.

Beyond Intel and DigitalBridge, which is publicly traded and a major investor in datacenters, Articul8 investors include Fin Capital, Mindset Ventures, Communitas Capital, GiantLeap Capital, GS Futures and Zain Group.

“Intel and Articul8 will remain strategically aligned and Intel plans to leverage Articul8’s enterprise gen AI software for internal use cases as well as offer it to end customers as part of a joint go-to-market partnership,” the spokesperson said. “This collaboration will drive consumption of Intel compute offerings [and] Intel will continue to leverage Articul8’s AI domain knowledge and expertise as Intel continues to grow its footprint in the generative AI market.”

Reuters notes that Intel’s move to launch Articul8 is its latest endeavor to seek outside capital for business units. The chipmaker spun out car chip firm Mobileye, sold off its memory chip division and intends an eventual initial public offering of its programmable chip unit.

The spin-outs are part of Intel’s strategy to raise capital for CEO Pat Gelsinger’s comeback plan, which involves building out new chip factories in the U.S. and Europe as well as introducing new advanced chip manufacturing nodes within the next four years. In particular, Articul8 fits into Gelsinger’s plans to deliver new software products and services — including gen AI-powered products — that rival those from competitors like Nvidia and AMD and make Intel hardware more attractive for a range of applications.



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