Motorola and Intel announced a partnership Monday, announcing a $50 million grant to research the use of microprocessors for wearable technology and for wireless headphones.
The two companies said the grant, which is part of a $1.1 billion research program funded by Intel and Intel Ventures, will be directed to the joint venture.
The pair said the project will focus on wearable technology that is “built for high performance and durability,” including the use and improvement of microelectronics for applications ranging from wearable technology to power devices.
The grant will be used to support research into the application of microchips to wearable technology, the two companies announced in a statement.
Microchips, which are smaller, smaller and faster than traditional electronics, have the potential to become key components of wearable devices.
The Intel/Intel Ventures-backed grant will support the development and commercialization of new technologies to make wearables better, faster and more durable, said Greg McBride, director of the Motorola Mobility Innovation Lab.
The research will be funded by the Intel Venture Fund, the Intel Corporation-sponsored Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.
The announcement comes a week after Lenovo, which has been pursuing the use microprocesses for its wearables, said it would also pursue a research partnership with Intel.
Lenovo said the two sides have agreed on a research and development framework that will help Lenovo develop microelectronic components for wearable devices that meet the company’s requirements for energy efficiency and durability.
The two companies, both based in Sunnyvale, Calif., are expected to announce further details in the coming weeks.
McBride said that in addition to the Intel/Lenovo grant, the research will also support Intel’s $25 million Innovation in Wearables program, which aims to advance technology for wearables that are designed to improve energy efficiency, durability and comfort.
The program is a part of Intel’s Energy Efficiency Technology Program, a global effort to help companies achieve their business objectives through the use or improvement of energy efficiency technology, McBride said.
The partnership between Intel and Motorola comes as the tech giants battle to stay ahead of the iPhone and Android, which both have more than 30 million active users, and as the two technologies continue to gain traction in emerging markets.
The iPhone and Samsung devices are the fastest-growing smartphones on the planet, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the global smartphone market, according to research firm IDC.
Apple said last month that it plans to unveil a new wireless earbud with wireless technology.
The new product will use microelectrodes to deliver sound waves that are transmitted wirelessly to a user’s ears.
The earbuds will be available for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the new iPhone X.