Lattice Acquires Mirametrix
The Six Five team discusses Lattice acquiring Mirametrix and what this means for them.
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Patrick Moorhead: Let’s dive into another chip play Lattice. And Lattice acquired Mirametrix. So let me give a little background on this first. So first of all, there’s a continuum of computing chips. You can have CPU, you can have GPU, you can have FPGA and you can have an ASIC. And at one end, degree of difficulty to program is ASIC and the easiest to program, which is a CPU. But the challenge is, is you also have a sliding scale of battery life and how much energy. ASIC is the most energy efficient, CPU is the least energy efficient.
And Lattice in order to improve their time to market and really shrink that time for developers, is they’ve created stacks like sensAI. So you had sensAI plus one of Lattice’s FPGAs and you can essentially put that into vision systems. You can put into audio systems, you can put that into robots and not have to do that typical, heavy, heavy lifting. And you can shave years off program ability compared to a fixed function ASIC.
And this Lattice’s acquisition of Mirametrix is another step in that direction. And essentially, so first of all, Mirametrix is a software company that leverages AI and right now they’re really focused on presence. A good example of that is on many Lenovo computers you have of a Mirametrix solution that by the way, is running on the CPU and takes a bunch of battery life to be able to wake the system when it comes in, offers the ability if somebody is shoulder surfing, that’s not your face, but running that on an FPGA, takes it from watts to milliwatts, okay, and that’s a huge deal.
The other benefit of running this is if you are a PC maker and you want to have Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, and maybe in the future NVIDIA, Samsung or MediaTek, you only need one software solution stack with an FPGA to limit the amount of development that you actually have to do. And guess what? Another benefit of the FPGA, if you want to reprogram it and have that connected your camera to do some other things, or maybe even add a larger FPGA and do some tricks with your camera, you can. And instead of having three to four different solutions that you have to develop and support and improve, you only have one. So hats off to Lattice. They keep moving the ball down the court and reducing the amount of programmability it takes to do cool stuff with AI.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, Pat. This was a solid acquisition. Fits the direction that Lattice is trying to go in terms of being able to offer some very intelligent features that a lot of people don’t realize Lattice works very closely in a company with many of the larger, more well-known semiconductors to offer very specific security and capability features. In this case, I thought you had a great example in your Forbes article, but just talking about, I think you mentioned here shoulder surfing, talking about the fact that we really haven’t fully found the value in how we can use attention, everything from like a collaboration application to where, we want to better understand what are people really looking at when they’re watching a conference. When a web conference’s online, Pat, and we all know that people turn on their machines and walk away and this can give the capability for these software programs to better understand attention and focus.
The other thing of course is security and safety. We know that visual hacking is one of the biggest risk factors for many people. We all think that it’s sophisticated people breaking into level five government agencies using raspberry pies like we saw in Mr. Robot, but the reality is they tend to be taking things written on sticky notes that we keep on our laptop or things that they’re able to see over our shoulders and that’s how information becomes disseminated, especially in crowded public areas. And as mobility returns, risk profile for data theft becomes a bigger issue. So being able to instantly see, hey, this person’s looking away. Even as short as, hey, I’m turning my shoulder to the right to talk to the person sitting next to me, that person sitting on your other side could be staring at your screen. But when eyes go off the screen for more than three seconds, it might darken the screen and it’s a more capable and competent technology than some of those visors is 3M Technology and stuff that people have to install and often don’t use effectively.
So interesting acquisition, Pat. I don’t know what the price was for it, but I feel it’s probably very synergistic for Lattice and it’s going to be something we’ll hear more about in the near future.
Patrick Moorhead: Excellent.
Daniel Newman is the Chief Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio