ARM buys Apical: all IP and running licensing deals for $350 million

May 18, 2016 // By Julien Happich
ARM announced it has acquired the entire share capital of Apical Limited (“Apical”), a provider of imaging and embedded computer vision intellectual property (IP) products with extensive licensing deals across the semiconductor industry.

Apical's advanced imaging products are used in more than 1.5 billion smartphones and approximately 300 million other consumer/industrial devices including IP cameras, digital stills cameras and tablets, the company having struck licensing deals with industry giants such as TI, Samsung and LG.

The acquisition, closed on 17 May, 2016 for a cash consideration of $350 million supports ARM’s long term growth strategy by enabling new imaging products for next generation vehicles, security systems, robotics, mobile and any consumer, smart building, industrial or retail application where intelligent image processing is needed.

Apical’s technology will complement the ARM Mali graphics, display and video processor roadmap while readily adding new licensing revenues.

IP that ARM will be able to leverage include:

Spirit: dedicated silicon IP blocks that deliver an on-chip computer vision capability by converting raw sensor data or video into a machine-readable representation of an image.

Assertive Display: enabling screens to adapt to changes in light by overcoming brightness limitations while reducing power consumption.

Assertive Camera: IP blocks configured as a range of image signal processors (ISPs) and software packages for high dynamic range, noise reduction and colour management.


“Computer vision is in the early stages of development and the world of devices powered by this exciting technology can only grow from here,” said Simon Segars, CEO, ARM in a company statement. “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”, he added, emphasizing the pervasive role of ARM in autonomous driving.

“Apical has led the way with new imaging technologies based on extensive research into human vision and visual processing,” said Michael Tusch, CEO and founder, Apical. “The products developed by Apical already enable cameras to understand their environment and to