Qualcomm buys machine learning firm Scyfer to implement AI on end devices

Post acquisition machine learning firm Scyfer's team and founder will join Qualcomm Technologies to further advance AI research and development

Qualcomm

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Semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company, Qualcomm Technologies, has announced the acquisition of Scyfer BV, a company associated with the University of Amsterdam that develops machine learning technology and AI solutions for manufacturing, healthcare and financial enterprises across the globe.

Post acquisition, Scyfer’s team and founder Max Welling, who is also a professor at the University of Amsterdam, will be joining Qualcomm Technologies. According to the semiconductor giant, Welling will help to further advance AI research and development. He will continue his role as a professor at the University of Amsterdam, and the rest of the Scyfer team will continue to be based in Amsterdam.

About two years back, Qualcomm Technologies and the University of Amsterdam also established QUVA, a joint research lab focused on advancing the machine learning techniques for mobile and computer vision.

“We started fundamental research a decade ago, and our current products now support many AI use cases from computer vision and natural language processing to malware detection on a variety of devices — such as smartphones and cars — and we are researching broader topics, such as AI for wireless connectivity, power management and photography,” said Matt Grob, Executive Vice President, Technology, Qualcomm.

Qualcomm claims to be focusing on implementation of AI on end devices such as smartphones, cars and robotics to ensure that processing can be done with or without a network or Wi-Fi connection, rather than the execution of AI in the cloud. It states that with the direct implementation, on-device AI can give immediate response, enhanced reliability, increased privacy protection, and efficient use of network bandwidth.

Apart from the acquisition, earlier this week Qualcomm Technologies also announced an expansion to its Spectra Module program. The program was launched last year designed to help customers accelerate time to market for devices with advanced camera technology and quality.

The program is capable of improved biometric authentication and high-resolution depth sensing, designed to meet growing demands of photo and video for a broad range of mobile devices and head mounted displays (HMD).

“Whether used for computational photography, video recording, or for computer vision applications that require accurate motion tracking, it’s clear that power efficient camera image signal processing has become more important for the next generation of mobile user experiences,” said Tim Leland, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies.

“Our breakthrough advancements in visual quality and computer vision, combined with our family of integrated Spectra ISPs for Snapdragon, are designed to support an ecosystem of cutting edge mobile applications for our customers.”

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