This week Lattice Semiconductor announced that it has officially acquired Mirametrix INC. in an all-cash transaction. The specific terms of the deal aren’t public knowledge yet. We know that the acquisition of Mirametrix will expand and deepen Lattice’s offerings, especially in the compute and automotive markets. This deal allows the company to offer a complete AI and computer vision solution from the hardware to the application layer.
Mirametrix’s core competencies are attention sensing technology, expressly object tracking and face, eye, and gazing tracking. These technologies and software capabilities will give Lattice more solutions to offer to its compute and automotive customers. Mirametrix INC isn’t a household name yet, but many consumers and enterprise users already use its Glance by Mirametrix software every day on its 80+ enabled PC devices. Let’s dig into the announcement and what this acquisition means for Lattice.
To fully understand what this deal means to Lattice, I think its worth looking at the history and products of Mirametrix. The software company founded in 2011 is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The main focus of Mirametrix is creating software that enables natural interactions between humans and computers. A few things that differentiate the company is that its software is hardware agnostic, uses an open engine, and works across OS platforms like Windows, Linex, and Android.
Attention sensing is a big deal, and I believe it will play a significant role in the next generation of smart PCs, not only from a user experience perspective but also from a battery life and performance perspective. This Glance by Mirametrix software offers many applications, including increased productivity, safety, security and privacy, and digital wellbeing. There are many use cases like sleeping your PC’s screen when a user walks away to prevent digital hacking or notifying you when you’re experiencing eye strain or screen fatigue. I spent dozens of hours a week at the airport, and screen peaking is something I always worry about. This software can help by dimming the screen when it senses preying eyes looking at my device. Another compelling use case for me is the idea of saving battery life. The software can intuitively sleep a device when a user walks away from the desk and wake it as the user returns. I believe there is a lot of enterprise and consumer value in sensing applications, especially in PCs, but Lattice will have to lean more into customer awareness and message the importance of these products to its customers. There is no doubt that the PC industry is moving toward more intelligent and interactive devices, and Lattice wants to participate in that development.
From a business perspective, there is a lot to like about Mirametrix. The company’s flagship software product, Glance by Mirametrix, is already enabled in 80+ PC models today. The company already has customers in 176 countries, covers 29 different languages, and averages 23 new software installations per minute. Lattice CEO Jim Anderson confirmed that the two companies have already been partners for nearly two years. The Mirametrix team will join the already existing software teams at Lattice to continue working on Lattice’s current and next-gen AI and ML solution stacks.
How Mirametrix adds value to Lattice Semiconductor
As an analyst, I get to cover a lot of mergers and acquisitions every year. When I see one of these deals go through, I always think, what does the acquired company’s core competencies and how do they add value to the larger parent company. In the case of Lattice and Mirametrix, I think its pretty straightforward. Lattice is all about low-power programmable FPGA devices and supporting those devices with full solution stacks. The company already has a product suited well for AI and Machine Learning applications called Lattice sensAI stack. It includes hardware, demonstrations, neural network IP cores, software tools, and custom design services. The addition of Mirametrix allows Lattice to go a layer deeper into its AI offerings. The company can now offer everything from hardware to the application layer that Glance by Mirametrix powers. The addition of Mirametrix software allows developers to craft a more intuitive user experience for consumer applications like mobile devices, smart home devices, smart car products, and more. Glance by Mirametrix will likely integrate into Lattice’s sensAI solutions stack so developers can get to market quicker with attention sensing technology.
Lattice powering the next-gen smart PC
The PC platform is already one of the cornerstones of Mirametrix’s business, and it is a focus for Lattice as well. I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone in a post COVID world that thinks the PC is dead. Five years ago, that was a much different conversation. Lattice wants to be a big player in the next-gen smart PC. It takes an aggregate of technologies to service all the diverse needs of the next-gen PC platform. These new PCs will be more aware of audio and video experiences, but users also want to control them with voice and gestures. With Mirametrix, Lattice will give customers a more customizable user experience at the application layer. This is extremely valuable for OEM PC customers who want to tailor a unique attention sensing experience to improve battery life, privacy, and productivity.
Although the market has plenty of competition today, I believe the future of Windows SoCs will soon broaden to include companies like MediaTek, Samsung, and ArmVidia. Many semiconductors power our devices in today’s heterogeneous computing environment, including CPUs, GPUs, ASICs, and FPGAs. Each semiconductor type and method of AI acceleration has its utility and offers unique benefits. OEMs often consider multiple semiconductor vendors in the PC business as platforms require different performance, battery life, and use cases.
Each semiconductor type poses unique implementation challenges for PC OEMs. The issue with GPUs and ASICs is that it is tied to a specific vendor like Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, or Qualcomm. As an OEM, if you wanted three different vendors to be battery life optimized, you would have three separate implementations to achieve that. There is no overlap or synergies in the design process between the different vendors. With Lattice FPGAs, OEM customers can get support across all three platforms in a single implementation. This equates to cost and time savings for the OEM. When we evaluate the challenges of CPUs, they aren’t as power-efficient when compared to an FGPA. With Lattices AI solutions and new attention tracking capabilities, there are many battery life savings by using computer vision to manage battery life consumption. In some cases, users can expect over an hour of battery life savings by controlling the device with attention tracking.
I believe Lattice positioned itself well to be a big player in the next-gen smart PC experiences with its end-to-end AI solutions. OEMs should derive much value from a quicker time to market, cost savings, and battery life performance.
With the acquisition of Mirametrix, Lattice will beef up its AI solutions stack with the expanded application layer capabilities. I see this as a significant investment in improving the capabilities of Lattices solutions stack and offering more to its customers.
I like this move from Lattice. Acquiring Mirametrix broadens and deepens its ability to service its AI compute and automotive customers. Lattice can now offer its customers a software application that improves privacy, battery life, productivity, and more. A lot of the value of this deal is giving customers a customizable solution that speeds up time to market dramatically.
I look forward to learning more details about the deal soon, but congrats to Lattice Semiconductor and the Mirametrix team.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.