Processor designer ARM has acquired the UK-based imaging technology company Apical for a cash consideration of $350 million. The Apical name might not be too well known among consumers, but the company's technology can be found in a very large range of digital cameras and smartphones.  

The company's products include Assertive Display which makes screens adapt to changes in lighting, and Assertive Camera, a range of image signal processors (ISPs) and software modules that manage HDR capture, noise reduction and color management among other tasks. Apical is also one of the UK's fastest growing technology companies and currently employs approximately 100 staff, most of them at its research and development center in Loughborough. 

According to the press release, with the acquisition ARM is hoping to get into new markets where computer vision technology is in demand, including connected vehicles, robotics, smart cities, security systems, industrial/retail and the 'Internet of Things' devices. That said, Apical also complements ARM's offerings in the smartphone and digital camera sectors. 

“Computer vision is in the early stages of development and the world of devices powered by this exciting technology can only grow from here,” said Simon Segars, CEO, ARM. “Apical is at the forefront of embedded computer vision technology, building on its leadership in imaging products that already enable intelligent devices to deliver amazing new user experiences. The ARM partnership is solving the technical challenges of next generation products such as driverless cars and sophisticated security systems. These solutions rely on the creation of dedicated image computing solutions and Apical’s technologies will play a crucial role in their delivery.”

Apical's dynamic range compression algorithm, 'Iridix' was used by a range of camera makers, including Nikon, Olympus and Sony as they developed their in-camera dynamic range options Active D-Lighting, Shadow Adjustment Technology and Dynamic Range Optimizer.