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M&A: Intel Acquires Silicon Mobility for AI, EV Energy Efficiency

January 10, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Intel has acquired Silicon Mobility, which develops semiconductor hardware and software that improve electric vehicle (EV) energy efficiency. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is M&A deal number 18 that Sustainable Tech Partner has covered so far in 2024. See all M&A deals involving sustainability, climate tech and green IT services listed here.

Silicon Mobility, founded in 2015, is based in Sophia Antipolis, France. The company has 69 employees listed on LinkedIn as of January 2024, along with offices in Silicon Valley, Germany, Japan and China.

Silicon Mobility was backed by multiple venture capital and private industry investors. The company in 2018 raised $10 million in Series B funding -- led by Capital-E and Cipio Partners. The funding round's valuation terms were not disclosed.

Silicon Mobility's technology will "extend Intel’s reach in the vehicle beyond high-performance compute into intelligent and programmable power devices," the buyer said.

Jack Weast, VP and general manager, Intel Automotive

Intel announced the Silicon Mobility acquisition at the CES 2024 conference. The acquisition is part of Intel's larger "AI Everywhere" strategy -- which now includes the automotive market. On a related note, Intel announced a family of AI-enhanced software-defined vehicle system-on-chips (SoCs). Early adopters include Zeekr, which will leverage the new SoC to deliver its generative AI-driven living room experiences to next-generation vehicles, Intel said.

In a prepared statement about the strategy, Jack Weast, VP and general manager of Intel Automotive, said: “Intel is taking a ‘whole vehicle’ approach to solving the industry’s biggest challenges. Driving innovative AI solutions across the vehicle platform will help the industry navigate the transformation to EVs. The acquisition of Silicon Mobility aligns with our sustainability goals while addressing a critical energy management need for the industry.”

Intel Turnaround Strategy and CEO Pat Gelsinger

Pat Gelsinger, CEO, Intel

After losing some of its business luster, Intel hired Pat Gelsinger as CEO in 2021 to restore the company's R&D prowess. Gelsinger, formerly CEO of virtualization software provider VMware, had spent his early career at Intel.

Gelsinger's turnaround effort includes extending from PCs, servers and data centers into the AI, mobile and automobile markets.

Still, the company continues to face intense competition on multiple fronts -- from companies such as AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Nvidia, Qualcom and Samsung, among many others. So far, Nvidia has dominated much of the AI chip market conversation.

On the automotive and mobility fronts, part of Intel's strategy included launching a 2022 IPO for Mobileye -- a developer of autonomous vehicle technology. Fast forward to early January 2024, and Mobileye's stock fell roughly 25% because of weak revenue guidance for 2024.

For its part, Intel will provide a financial progress report when the company announces Q4 2023 results on January 25, 2024.

Intel and Sustainability: Overall Strategy

Trevor Vickers
Trevor Vickers, VP and GM, Intel Global Partners and Support

Meanwhile, Intel has been pitching sustainability strategies and education to to chief technology officers (CTOs) worldwide. The effort includes forming a Sustainable CTO advisory board to "identify best practices to help organizations determine the best path toward becoming tech positive, given real-world business demands."

And on the partner front, Intel in January 2024 named Trevor Vickors as VP and GM focused ion global partners and support.

We'll be watching to see if or how the Intel Partner Alliance program evolves to help partners promote green IT services to CTOs, CIOs and chief sustainability officers; and energy efficiency solutions to the automotive market.

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