Renesas acquires endpoint AI firm Reality

  • June 13, 2022
  • William Payne

Japan’s Renesas Electronics is acquiring embedded AI specialist Reality Analytics. The acquisition is aimed at making Renesas products AIoT capable and bringing advanced signal processing and intelligence to embedded endpoint devices.

The transaction will be all cash and has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. It is expected to close by the end of calendar year 2022, subject to shareholders’ and required regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

In collaboration with partners, Renesas has been offering development environments and software that allow AI to be embedded in its low-power MCUs (microcontrollers) and MPUs (microprocessors). The Reality AI acquisition allows Renesas to expand its in-house capability to provide optimized endpoint solutions both from the hardware as well as the software perspective.

Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, U.S., Reality AI offers a range of embedded AI and Tiny Machine Learning (TinyML) solutions for non-visual sensing in automotive, industrial and commercial products. They provide machine learning with advanced signal processing math, providing efficient machine learning inference that fits on the smallest MCUs.

Reality AI’s flagship Reality AI Tools is a software environment built to support the full product development lifecycle, providing analytics from non-visual sensor data. Its inference-based AI solutions can be implemented across various endpoint AI applications.

Examples of the company’s products are industrial anomaly detection and automotive sound recognition using AI-built sensors.

The acquisition will also provide Renesas with an AIoT center-of-excellence in Maryland by acquiring Reality AI’s experts.

“The importance and demand of data at the endpoint is increasing at an unprecedented scale. The acquisition of AI technology is an important milestone to address our customers’ emerging requirements for endpoint intelligence,” said Hidetoshi Shibata, President and CEO of Renesas. “The addition of Reality AI’s AI solutions to our existing embedded AI portfolios will further solidify our position as a leading AIoT solution provider.”

“Customers are increasingly demanding highly customized solutions involving embedded machine learning, signal processing, high-capability processors, and assistance with hardware integration and solution development,” said Stuart Feffer, CEO of Reality AI. “Having collaborated with Renesas for some time now, we are looking forward to being able to provide customers with more complete solutions – especially in the areas of IIoT, consumer and automotive products where use of machine learning is growing rapidly.”