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Renesas buys edge AI tool developer

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics is to acquire US startup Reality Analytics Inc. (Reality AI) for its embedded edge AI tools in an all-cash transaction. 

The deal is expected to close by the end of 2022 and allows Renesas to expand its in-house capability for highly optimised edge AI hardware and software for IIoT, consumer and automotive applications.

Reality AI offers a wide range of embedded AI and Tiny Machine Learning (TinyML) solutions for sensing in automotive, industrial and commercial products and had raised t least $3.7m in funding. It develops machine learning algorithms for efficient inference that fits on the smallest MCUs.

The deal mirrors STMicroelectronics’ acquisition of Cartesiam in 2021 to provide similar technology and the importance of AT at Renesas was highlighted in a recent interview: ARM battles RISC-V at Renesas

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Reality AI’s flagship Reality AI Tools provide a software environment for the full product development lifecycle, provides analytics from non-visual sensor data. The inference-based AI solutions can be implemented across various endpoint AI applications such as industrial anomaly detection and automotive sound recognition using AI in the Renesas microcontroller and microprocessor devices.

In addition to expanding embedded AI technologies, key IPs, software and tools, the acquisition will bring an AIoT centre-of-excellence in Maryland with Reality AI engineers.

“The importance and demand of data at the endpoint is increasing at an unprecedented scale. The acquisition of AI technology is an important milestone to address our customers’ emerging requirements for endpoint intelligence,” said Hidetoshi Shibata, President and CEO of Renesas. “The addition of Reality AI’s AI solutions to our existing embedded AI portfolios will further solidify our position as a leading AIoT solution provider.”

“Customers are increasingly demanding highly customized solutions involving embedded machine learning, signal processing, high-capability processors, and assistance with hardware integration and solution development,” said Stuart Feffer, CEO of Reality AI. “Having collaborated with Renesas for some time now, we are looking forward to being able to provide customers with more complete solutions – especially in the areas of IIoT, consumer and automotive products where use of machine learning is growing rapidly.”

www.renesas.com

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