Qualcomm Technologies, the American wireless chipset giant, has made a huge surprise this week when it announced the acquisition of an artificial intelligence (AI) startup. The American technology giant has just acquired Scyfer B.V., a company affiliated with the University of Amsterdam, to bolster its position in the fast-growing AI space. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to CNBC, the San Diego-based technology company has just acquired Scyfer, a Netherlands-based AI startup that has a strong focus on cutting edge machine learning techniques and technologies. The Dutch company has been developing AI and machine learning solutions for a number of industry vertical applications, which include healthcare, manufacturing, and finance.
The deal is expected to help Qualcomm in boosting its AI research effort. Qualcomm is currently working on AI and its potential applications in mobile devices, cars, and robotics. Some analysts believe that the Scyfer deal will make a positive impact on Qualcomm as the tech giant continues its progress and advance AI and machine learning development. The company has recently established QUVA, a joint research effort that focused on advanced AI and machine-learning techniques for computer vision and mobile devices.
As part of the deal, most of the Scyfer’s team will remain based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Additionally, Scyfer’s founder Dr. Max Welling will remain and continue his role as professor of the University of Amsterdam.
Qualcomm, a close look at the mobile technology giant
Founded in 1985 and based in San Diego, California, Qualcomm Technologies is a semiconductor and telecommunication equipment company that provides wireless telecommunication solutions and services. Qualcomm derives most of its revenue from its leading mobile chip making business and mobile patent licensing services.
The American tech giant has pioneered the commercialization of the CDMAOne, a standard for wireless cellular communication technology. Currently, Qualcomm leads the tech world in the patent in advanced 3G mobile technologies, which include WCDMA, HSPA, TD-SCDMA and some patents on 4G technologies.
Qualcomm’s flagship mobile product Snapdragon System-on-Chip (SoC) products have made headline around the world and have become the de facto standard for most Android-powered mobile devices. The company has seen huge substantial revenue and profit growth as its Snapdragon chips took market share from fierce rivals Texas Instruments and Nvidia in the hotly contested mobile market.
The company has also made some strategic acquisitions and investments. In October 2015, the company acquired Bluetooth and WiFi specialist CSR Inc. for $2.5 billion. Then the next year, October 2016, it acquired the Dutch-based semiconductor company NXP Semiconductors for a whopping $47 billion. In June 2017, Qualcomm announced a strategic investment in Amionx, which provides technology to prevent fire and explosions in lithium-ion batteries, for an undisclosed amount.
In addition, the company has also made some headlines and controversies. In 2014, Qualcomm has been accused by the China’s anti-monopoly regulatory agency of anti-competitive practice and market abuse. In July 2015, the European Commission has launched antitrust investigations into Qualcomm’s market practice in the areas of baseband chipsets.
Other Qualcomm announcement and news
Qualcomm has made a huge announcement recently. The company announced that future Android-powered phones could come equipped with new active depth sensing camera technology that is developed by Qualcomm. The company claimed that the upcoming version of its image signal processor (ISP) will enable a more advanced camera features like the much-talked active depth sensing.
However, the new camera technology will almost certainly be restricted to the high-end and premium version of smartphones. That is because the new technology will require a more powerful hardware. The first smartphone with support for this technology won’t be out in the market until next year.