Ambarella Acquires Radar Perception Software Firm Oculii for $307.5M

Oculii has developed software to get more performance out of radar sensors without adding power or compute.


Oculii is developing systems to improve automotive radar.
Ambarella, which makes systems on a chip for computer vision, said its acquisition of radar AI provider Oculii will provide greater perception for autonomous vehicles and robots.

Ambarella Inc. today said it has completed its acquisition of Oculii Corp. Ambarella said that Oculii's artificial intelligence software for radar perception will complement its camera technology for “an an all-weather, low-cost, and scalable perception solution, enabling higher levels of autonomy for automotive Tier 1s and OEMs globally.”

“We are excited to have closed this transaction quickly and look forward to integrating our teams and technologies,” said Fermi Wang, president and CEO of Ambarella. “The two organizations have very similar cultures, and Ambarella is now one of the very few semiconductor companies to have advanced camera and radar technology development under one roof. This enables us to provide the market with greater levels of perception than was previously attainable with discrete camera and radar solutions.”

Founded in 2004, Ambarella offers products for a variety of human and computer vision applications, including robotics, video security, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), driver/cabin monitoring, and autonomous vehicles. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said its low-power systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) offer high-resolution video compression, image processing, and deep neural network processing to enable cameras to extract valuable data from video streams.

Oculii applies AI to radar

“For decades, commercial radars have suffered from poor angular resolution and limited FOVs [fields of view] because traditional designs require more antennas for higher resolution,” said Dayton, Ohio-based Oculii. “Additional antennas increase cost, size, and power exponentially, limiting what is commercially feasible.”

Founded in 2015, the company claimed that the adaptive AI algorithms in its Virtual Aperture Imaging technology use current radar chips to achieve up to 100 times greater resolution, improved accuracy, and longer range of up to 400 m (1,312 ft.). Oculii said that its Radar DSP processors do not require additional power or compute.

The company's products include the Falcon single-chip radar for ADAS applications, the Eagle dual-chip imaging radar for ADAS and autonomous vehicles, and the Raptor, which it said is coming soon. Oculii last week also signed an agreement with simulation provider Ansys.

Ambarella completes acquisition

Oculii raised $55 million in Series B funding in May, and General Motors recently joined its investors. Last month, Ambarella announced that Oculii and Ambarella had signed a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which Ambarella would acquire all outstanding capital stock of Oculii for $307.5 million.

On Nov. 5, 2021, pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement, Ohio Merger Sub Inc. merged with and into Oculii, and all outstanding capital stock of Oculii was cancelled and converted into the right to receive cash.

As a result of the merger’s completion, Oculii has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ambarella. Steven Hong, co-founder and CEO of Oculii, will serve as vice president and general manager of radar technology at Ambarella. Prof. Lang Hong, co-founder and chief technology officer of Oculii, will become an Ambarella Fellow.

Ambarella said the acquisition expands its addressable market into radar perception and fusion with its existing edge AI perception SoCs for automotive and other Internet of Things (IoT) endpoint applications, including mobile robotics and security.

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Oculii is developing systems to improve automotive radar.

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