Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is running out of room to grow. Sluggish demand for PCs, which have long upgrade cycles and are being displaced by tablets and phones, have caused sales of its PC chips to slow to a crawl.
Consulting firm PWC believes that the global drone market will grow from $2 billion today to $127 billion by 2020. That market includes a wide range of drones for consumer, delivery, defense, photography, and enterprise purposes.
To tap into that growth, Intel invested in drone makers Airware, Precisionhawk, and Yuneec, developed collision avoidance technology with Ascending Technologies, and integrated its Atom chips with depth-sensing RealSense cameras in reference designs for drones. Earlier this year, Intel partnered with AT&T to test drone flights across the telecom giant’s LTE network. LTE-connected drones can be piloted from longer distances beyond the pilot’s line of sight, and could be essential for delivering goods or performing other automated tasks for businesses.