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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) paid around $2 billion to acquire Habana Labs, an AI processor startup based in Israel.

Why it matters: Intel continues buying big to succeed in the AI chip market, which it expects to be worth more than $25 billion by 2024, even if some past acquisitions haven't yet worked out as planned.

  • ROI: Habana had raised $120 million over two rounds of VC funding, from Intel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Samsung, Walden International, and WRV Partners.

The bottom line: "The microprocessor giant is hell-bent on getting internet giants and enterprises to use its neural-network math coprocessors, rather than GPUs and specialist custom parts from Nvidia and others, and it's hoping this Habana upstart will help that dream come true." — Katyanna Quach, The Register

Go deeper

Senate confirms Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The agency promotes U.S. industry, oversees the Census Bureau, plays a key role in the government's study of climate change through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and evaluates emerging technology through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.

Supreme Court likely to favor Republican-backed Arizona voting laws

A person walking outside of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared to favor Republican-backed voting restrictions in Arizona that Democrats argue violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The Justices' decision in the case could weaken Section 2 of the VRA, which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race.