ARM snaps up IoT, imaging specialist Apical in $350m deal

Apical's imaging and intelligent IoT technology could prove to be a boon as ARM's traditional revenue streams dry up.

ARM has acquired imaging and embedded systems company Apical to push forward Internet of Things (IoT) devices and technology.

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On Wednesday, the Cambridge, UK-based semiconductor supplier said the acquisition of Apical was closed for $350 million (£242m) in a full cash transaction.

Founded in 2002, Apical is based in Loughborough, UK, and employs roughly 100 people in the research and development of imaging technology, camera and display systems.

The company's products are used in over 1.5 billion smartphones and approximately 300 million other consumer/industrial devices including IP cameras, digital stills cameras and tablets.

The deal could be an important addition for ARM, which traditionally supplies silicon chips to applications and products including smartphones, tablets, wearables and video processors. However, as a number of technology giants begin to suffer from slowing mobile device sales, new revenue streams must be opened up -- and the arrival of the connected home, robotics and smart vehicles may prove lucrative.

A company which specialises in research, IoT technology, sensors and has a large computer vision intellectual property (IP) portfolio is likely to be a valuable asset for ARM's future business goals.

ARM says Apical "supports ARM's long-term strategy" by supporting future products which need intelligent image processing.

"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 of Apical.

"These technologies will advance as part of ARM, driving value for its partners as they push deeper into markets where visual computing will deliver a transformation in device capabilities and the way humans interact with machines."

The acquisition closed on 17 May, 2016.

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