What happened

Incumbent chip maker Intel (INTC -0.62%), a banner victim of this year's tech stock sell-off, had an unusually good Monday. The company's shares rose by almost 5% on the day, due in part to a general rebound of tech titles generally and chip makers specifically, and partly due to a looming divestment.

So what

After market hours on Friday, Intel's assisted- and autonomous-driving tech unit Mobileye filed a prospectus for an initial public offering (IPO). Intel had previously signaled a spin-off of Mobileye on the public market, and investors welcomed its realization.

At least, the first stage of it. The document is only an initial prospectus, and it does not specify the amount of capital Intel/Mobileye is aiming to raise.

It does provide a good look at Mobileye's recent finances, revealing robust revenue growth (43% year over year in 2021, for example) accompanied by several bottom-line losses. The latter, however, are narrowing considerably, from 2019's $328 million shortfall to respective $196 million and $75 million deficits in the following two years.

Now what

The announcement comes at a time when Intel is struggling in the fight to remain top dog among chip makers and as such, intends to focus its business on its core activity. Mobileye was a big "get" for Intel, as it spent over $15 billion in 2017 to acquire it, so we can expect the chip maker will retain some ownership stake in the newly independent company.

Assuming Mobileye does come to market in an IPO, we can expect it to be a popular issue. Assisted and autonomous driving will continue to be hot, potentially rich areas for investment, and Mobileye is one of the top names in this exciting corner of automobile technology.