Emerging Display Technologies

Startup with Solid Credentials, Movidius gets $16 million for Computer Vision R&D

10 July 2013

Startup Movidius has received a new round of funding to accelerate the company’s next-generation image-processing chips and software. The company has moved its headquarters from Dublin, Ireland, to San Mateo, Calif., to establish a presence in Silicon Valley.

Movidius' has designed a multi-core architecture specifically to enable innovative imaging and vision applications on mobile platforms.

New applications include post-capture refocusing, high quality zoom, augmented reality simulation, gaze or gesture-based user interfaces, advanced location-based services, modeling and scanning for 3-D printing.

"Meeting the constant increases in processing power needed to deliver a quality user experience at the right power envelope for advanced mobile applications has required an entirely fresh approach to architecture and not just an incremental enhancement to existing technologies," said Remi El-Ouazzane, Movidius CEO.

El-Ouazzane recently joined Movidius from Texas Instruments where he served as vice president and worldwide general manager of the Open Multimedia Applications Platform (OMAP) Business Unit. That unit ceased development of OMAP for the mobile market and has concentrated on the embedded space.

At TI, El-Ouazzane pioneered the first OMAP application processor for the Android platform and spearheaded the development of the OMAP 4 platform leading the development of strategic relationships with Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Under his watch, TI dramatically increased revenue for the OMAP business unit.

Also, Movidius has appointed Dan Dobberpuhl, a veteran of the semiconductor industry, as chairman of the board. Most recently, Dobberpuhl was founder of P.A. Semi, which was purchased by Apple for $278 million in 2008. Previously, in 1998 he co-founded SiByte, which was purchased by Broadcom SiByte for stock worth more than $2 billion in 2000. Dobberpuhl was at Digital Equipment Corp.'s Alpha processor and founded and directed the StrongARM architecture design.

"High-performance applications like visual search and 3D-enabled e-commerce using smartphones and tablets with minimal battery drain are within our grasp,” said Dobberpuhl.

Movidius operates development centers in Dublin, Ireland and Timisoara, Romania.

The $16 million Series D funding round was led jointly by Atlantic Bridge, DFJ Esprit and Robert Bosch Venture Capital, with participation from existing investors Capital E, AIB Seed Capital Fund and private investors.

Brian Long of Atlantic Bridge, Brian Caulfield of DFJ Esprit and Hongquan Jiang of Robert Bosch Venture Capital have joined Movidius’ board of directors.

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