AMD to Acquire an AI software business, Nod.AI, to catch up to Nvidia

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AMD to Acquire an AI software business, Nod.AI, to catch up to Nvidia
AMD to Acquire an AI software business, Nod.AI, to catch up to Nvidia

AMD announced Tuesday that it would acquire Nod.AI, an open-source artificial intelligence software business.

On Tuesday, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announced the acquisition of Nod.AI, an open-source artificial intelligence software business, in order to extend the chipmaker’s AI software operations.

According to the firm, AI, or Nod Labs, develops open-source solutions “for future AI systems,” and it primarily specializes in reinforcement learning, a form of system that “learns” through trial and error.

The acquisition comes as part of AMD’s “AI growth strategy,” which it thinks will help it compete better against rival chipmaker Nvidia, whose sales increased by more than 100% year over year for the quarter ended July 30, 2023. During the same time period, AMD reported an 18% fall in revenue but still outperformed analysts’ sales and profit estimates.

According to an AMD representative, the transaction is scheduled to be finalized this quarter.

“Nod.ai’s team of industry experts is known for their substantial contributions to open-source AI software and deep expertise in AI model optimizations,” an AMD representative stated, adding that the acquisition “augments AMD’s AI software capabilities.”

Anush Elangovan, the startup’s CEO, was a member of Google’s original Chromebooks team and a top engineer at Cisco before starting Nod in 2013. Harsh Menon, Nod’s co-founder and chief technology officer, formerly worked at Kitty Hawk, a Google co-founder Larry Page-backed electric aircraft business that will close in 2022.

Nod Labs was first advertised as an AI hardware business focused on gesture recognition and motion-tracking wearables, with products like Bluetooth-connected rings for use in gaming. Imagine using your thumb and forefinger to shoot a rifle in a virtual reality game. The startup obtained millions of dollars in venture capital funding from organizations such as Menlo Ventures and Sequoia Capital, and team members reportedly came from Apple, Google, Samsung, and other companies.

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