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Oculii acquisition expands Ambarella's edge AI SoCs

27th October 2021
Tom Anstee

Ambarella acquires Oculii, adding its AI software algorithms to AI CV perception SoCs for automotive and IoT endpoint applications.

AI vision silicon company, Ambarella, has acquired Ohio-based Oculii. Oculii’s adaptive AI software algorithms are designed to enable radar perception using current production radar chips to achieve significantly higher (up to 100X) resolution, longer range and greater accuracy. These improvements eliminate the need for specialised high-resolution radar chips, which have significantly higher power consumption and cost than conventional radar, says the company. Oculii’s software can be deployed on Ambarella’s existing CVflow SoCs, operating in conjunction with leading radar RF devices to increase safety and reliability.

According to Ambarella, the acquisition expands its addressable market into radar perception and fusion with its existing edge AI CV perception SoCs for automotive and other IoT endpoint applications, including mobile robotics and security. The fusion of Ambarella’s camera technology and Oculii’s radar software stack provides an all-weather, low-cost and scalable perception solution, enabling higher levels of autonomy for automotive tier 1s and OEMs globally.

“The Oculii team brings great synergies with Ambarella’s algorithm-first approach and our ongoing initiatives to intelligently fuse sensor data in edge AI systems,” said Fermi Wang, president and CEO of Ambarella. “We expect Oculii’s unique adaptive radar perception algorithms, combined with Ambarella’s vision and AI processing, to unlock greater levels of perception accuracy than previously attainable with discrete camera and radar solutions.”

“Joining Ambarella will enable Oculii to expand the development of our radar technology while leveraging our synergies as part of this leading vision and AI processor company,” said Steven Hong, CEO of Oculii. “We look forward to working with our customers and silicon partners to deliver complete AI perception solutions, based on the combined strengths of our innovative engineering teams and advanced radar and computer vision technologies.”

It is expected that Oculii’s resolution and sensitivity can unlock the potential of everything from advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles to robotics and security. Its radar with a dynamic waveform uses AI to learn from and adapt to the environment, resulting in an extended operating range of up to 400m with a wide field of view.

To date, Oculii is engaged with 10 of the top 15 tier 1s on software licensing and has commercial development contracts with leading OEM and AV companies. Oculii is generating pre-production revenue today, with production programs expected to commence in CY 2023.

The boards of directors at both companies have approved the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and expected to close during Ambarella’s Q4 FY 2022 (ending January 31, 2022). 

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