British mobile chip designer ARM to buy Apical for $350 mn

British mobile chip designer ARM Holdings today struck a deal to buy digital imaging technology company Apical for $350 million.

Founded in 2002 and employing around 100 people, Loughborough-based Apical is one of the UK's fastest growing tech companies and its technology is used in more than 1.5 billion smartphones and around 300 million other consumer / industrial devices including IP cameras, digital stills cameras and tablets.

It specialises in developing cutting edge, next generation camera and display subsystems, bringing deep knowledge of human visual processing to create the best possible image quality and new user experiences.

ARM said that the acquisition will accelerates its growth into new markets such as connected vehicles, robotics, smart cities, security systems, industrial / retail applications and Internet of Things devices.

Michael Tusch, CEO and founder of Apical, said, ''The products developed by Apical already enable cameras to understand their environment and to act on the most relevant information by employing intelligent processing. 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.''

Founded in 1990 by Michael Muller, Cambridge-based ARM is company that is little heard of, but its products are the most-used consumer products in the world.

Processors based on designs licensed from ARM, or designed by licensees of one of the ARM instruction set architectures, are used in real-time safety systems, cars, smart TV's, all modern smartwatches, smartphones, tablets, desktops, servers and supercomputers.

ARM sells its chip designs and licenses its architecture to companies like Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, Nvidia and others.

The London and Nasdaq-listed company had revenues of nearly $1 billion in 2015 and profit of nearly $340 million.