News story

Apical: imaging and computer vision firm bought for $350 million

A business that develops technology with support of knowledge transfer partnerships has been bought by a UK multinational for $350 million.

One of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies whose products sit in more than a billion smart devices has been acquired by digital technology multinational ARM.

Apical, which employs around 100 people mainly at its technical centre in Loughborough, specialises in developing cutting-edge camera and display sub-systems.

Its vision technology is on many of the devices we routinely carry around in our pockets.

Cambridge-based ARM has bought Apical for $350 million, and it says the deal will help it to accelerate its own development into connected vehicles, robotics, smart cities, security systems and Internet of Things devices.

ARM develops technology that is at the heart of advanced digital devices including processors, software, embedded memories, peripherals and development tools.

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Computer vision technology set to grow

Simon Segars, chief executive of ARM, said:

Computer vision is in the early stages of development and the world of devices powered by this exciting technology can only grow from here.

Apical is at the forefront of embedded computer vision technology, building on its leadership in imaging products that already enable intelligent devices to deliver amazing new user experiences.

The ARM partnership is solving the technical challenges of next generation products such as driverless cars and sophisticated security systems. These solutions rely on the creation of dedicated image computing solutions and Apical’s technologies will play a crucial role in their delivery.

Apical has led the way on imaging technology

Apical was founded in 2002 and has grown rapidly on the back of technology development.

Michael Tusch, founder and chief executive of Apical, said:

Apical has led the way with new imaging technologies based on extensive research into human vision and visual processing.

The products developed by Apical already enable cameras to understand their environment and to act on the most relevant information by employing intelligent processing.

Company has partnered with universities

Apical has worked on a number of knowledge transfer partnerships with Loughborough University and the University of Leicester over the last six years. The work has covered a range of areas including image signal processors, high dynamic range (HDR) video, handset displays that adapt to changes in light levels and visual intelligence technologies that can track and recognise objects.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow by linking them with a university and a graduate to work on a specific project.

Each KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, an academic institution and a graduate.