Follow
Subscribe

General Motors Backed Radar Software Developer Oculii to be Acquired by Silicon Valley Computer Vision Company Ambarella Inc.

Home > News > Content

【Summary】Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), a Silicon Valley-based developer of semiconductors for high-definition video compression and computer vision processing, announced this week it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Oculii, a Dayton, Ohio-based radar software company that’s backed by automaker General Motors.

Eric Walz    Oct 28, 2021 4:00 PM PT
General Motors Backed Radar Software Developer Oculii to be Acquired by Silicon Valley Computer Vision Company Ambarella Inc.

Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), a Silicon Valley-based developer of semiconductors for high-definition video compression and computer vision processing, announced this week it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Oculii Corp, a Dayton, Ohio-based AI software company that's backed by automaker General Motors.

Oculii is a developer of adaptive AI software algorithms that improve the resolution of radar used for autonomous vehicle perceptions systems. The company's technology can improve the resolution of low cost radars by up to 100 times without increasing the physical number of antennas, which greatly improves range and accuracy.

Last month, Ocullii co-founder & CEO Steven Hong said GM's venture capital arm invested "millions of dollars" in the company. The investment was first reported by Reuters.

Oculii developed what its calls "virtual aperture imaging software", which can increase the resolution of any standard radar platform. The AI-powered software cleans up images rendered by a vehicle's radar. The technology can be used to improve the perception systems of vehicles equipped with advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) or autonomous driving capabilities. 

More importantly, the technology can lead to more cost effective radar solutions for the auto industry as the resolution of low cost radar sensors can be improved using software, as opposed to using more costly and higher resolution radar sensors with higher power requirements.

"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 Oculii CEO Hong. "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."

Radar is an important sensor for autonomous vehicles. It's used for both perception and navigation. When radar data is combined with cameras and lidar sensors, it can help identify other vehicles and road users, as well as measure an object's speed and direction. Radar also works better in low light conditions than cameras, giving it an advantage over cameras-based perception systems in detecting objects at night.

The acquisition of Oculii will expand Ambarella's addressable market into radar perception and fusion with its own portfolio of edge AI-powered computer vision perception SoCs for automotive and other applications, such as robotics.

Ambarella's technology makes cameras smarter with AI-powered computer vision processing. It enables features such as pedestrian detection, object classification and performs complex data analysis of images in real time.

Ambarella's chip architecture is called "CVflow", which is based on a deep understanding of computer vision algorithms, according to the company. It combines high-resolution imaging and neural network processing into a single embedded platform. 

Unlike CPUs and GPUs, CVflow includes a dedicated vision processing engine allowing the company's architecture to scale performance to trillions of operations per second (TOPS) with extremely low power consumption.

Using CVflow, developers can map their own convolutional neural networks (CNNs) trained with industry-standard tools such as Caffe, TensorFlow and PyTorch to run on Ambarella processors.

Ambarella plans to fuse its camera technology with Oculii's radar software stack to provide 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."

The acquisition will help Ambarella expand its reach in the automotive space. The demand for automotive grade radar and vision systems is growing as automakers introduce more vehicles with autonomous driving capabilities. 

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 with production programs expected to commence in 2023.

In March, Ambarella announced that Motional, the autonomous driving joint venture of automaker Hyundai and Aptiv, selected its CVflow family of AI processors for its driverless vehicles.

The boards of directors of both companies have approved the acquisition, however it's still subject to customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close by Jan 31, 2022. 

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Prev                  Next
Writer's other posts
Comments:
    Related Content