Qualcomm is hoping to expand the reach of its AI program to more types of devices in more industries, and in order to do that, it has bought out Scyfer B.V. Scyfer has built out AI products for a number of companies on a contract basis, and thus has tools and experience pertaining to a wide range of AI applications in a number of industries, making it a good pick for Qualcomm as an expansion partner. Qualcomm did not disclose how much it paid to acquire Scyfer, but did say how the acquisition of talent will work. All Scyfer staff will stay in Amsterdam where the company is headquartered, and the founder, Dr. Max Welling, will continue in his role as a professor at the University of Amsterdam. The biggest difference will be that more collaboration will be performed at QUVA, a joint research lab at the University of Amsterdam.
Qualcomm's push into more areas with AI depends heavily on mixing cloud and on-device AI, both areas that Qualcomm and Scyfer have experience in. Qualcomm's integration of onboard machine learning through Google's TensorFlow in the Snapdragon 835 mobile chip is one of the crowning achievements for the company when it comes to on-device AI, and Scyfer, who has put together many integrated onboard AI systems in the past, is poised to help Qualcomm find and work on more applications for the Snapdragon 835, as well as to bring that same onboard AI technology to other platforms.
Qualcomm is not exactly new in the AI field. The company has been deep in AI research and implementation of various sorts for over a decade, even managing to place high in a few AI-focused competitions along the way. The company has, in the past, worked on things like optimizations for unsupervised or mostly unsupervised AI and neural network training, network optimization for the delivery of onboard AI computation products, and the creation of hardware made specifically for running onboard AI programs. Scyfer, on the other hand, has worked on things that other companies have asked for, such as revenue prediction, sound recognition in a healthcare environment, quality inspection, and automated creation of personalized bone models for the fabrication of prosthetics.