Ambarella, Inc., an AI vision silicon company, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ohio-based Oculii Corporation. The acquisition expands Ambarella’s 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.
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 specialized high-resolution radar chips, which typically have higher power consumption and cost than conventional radar solutions. The company has raised more than $75m in venture capital financing from institutional investors and strategic partners.
“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 fusion of Ambarella’s camera technology and Oculii’s radar software stack provides what the former calls “an all-weather, low-cost and scalable perception solution, enabling higher levels of autonomy for automotive tier 1s and OEMs globally”. Oculii’s software can be deployed on Ambarella’s existing CVflow® SoCs, operating in conjunction with radar RF solutions to increase safety and reliability.
Oculii’s resolution and sensitivity can be applied to advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles to robotics and security, by providing radar with a dynamic waveform that uses AI to learn from and adapt to the environment. The result is an extended operating range of up to 400 meters with a wide field of view.
“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”.
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. The company is generating pre-production revenue today, with production programs expected to commence in CY2023.
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 FY2022 (ending January 31, 2022). Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati served as legal advisor to Ambarella, and Goodwin Procter served as legal advisor to Oculii. Greenhill & Co. served as financial advisor to Ambarella.
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