Drone wars

The move follows smaller investments in drone companies Airware and PrecisionHawk, which analysts say is part of Intel’s strategy to gain ground against ARM-based CPUs in the UAV


Intel competitor Qualcomm has invested in US drone maker 3D Robotics, according to the Seeking Alpha financial website, while Yuneec’s Chinese rival DJI Technology raised $75m funding in May 2015.

Venture capitalists and companies are investing in drone technology on the expectation that UAVs will prove beneficial for consumers and industrial customers.

Both Amazon and Google are testing drones developed for delivering goods to customers, while Sony has launched a drones as a service business unit, that uses its image sensor technology. Facebook is testing a UK-developed drone to enable internet connectivity in remote, unconnected areas.

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Bloomberg News notes that the Yuneec relationship fits with Intel’s strategy to invest in companies developing products with the potential to expand the market for semiconductors, as the company searches for new markets for its chips.

Intel’s drone funding is similar to its investments in next-generation datacentre software companies such as Mirantis and Cloudera, Bloomberg said.