May 27, 2024

Apple Acquires Canadian AI Startup 'DarwinAI' [Report]

Posted March 14, 2024 at 5:59pm by iClarified · 3078 views
Apple has acquired Canadian AI startup 'DarwinAI,' according to a new report from Bloomberg.

The iPhone maker purchased the business earlier this year, and dozens of DarwinAI's employees have joined Apple's artificial intelligence division, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the deal hasn't been announced.

DarwinAI was launched by University of Waterloo systems design engineering professors Alexander Wong and Mohammad Javad Shafiee. The company created the DarwinAI defect detection platform for PCBs which enables manufacturers to get started with a lower data requirement and more rapidly achieve their ROI targets.

Our versatile automated mixed-assembly inspection system for PCBA works at the pre-SMT, SMT and post-SMT/offline final inspection stages, which means DarwinAI VQI replaces even your most challenging manual inspection in manufacturing. Unlike other automated systems that don't do mixed-assembly inspection post-SMT, DarwinAI VQI enables OEMs and electronics manufacturers to achieve higher yields and achieve a rapid ROI, with far less labor time. Thanks to DarwinAI VQI's advanced optics hardware combined with DarwinAI VQI's purpose-built AI models for PCBA inspection, your inspection process is much faster, so you can redistribute your labor force to other high value work.

Following the purchase, Alexander Wong joined Apple as a director in its AI group. When asked about the acquisition, Apple gave the typical response it gives when "confirming" the deal.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans"

It's unclear how Apple plans to utilize DarwinAI, but if it's more than just a talent acquisition, it seems likely the company's tech will used in assembly inspection.

The acquisition comes as Apple promises to unveil significant developments in AI later this year.

"we're so focused on pushing technology to its limits as we work to enrich the lives of our users," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "As we look ahead, we will continue to invest in these and other technologies that will shape the future. That includes artificial intelligence where we continue to spend a tremendous amount of time and effort, and we're excited to share the details of our ongoing work in that space later this year."

We'll likely get an early look at these AI efforts when iOS 18 is unveiled at WWDC 2024. Please download the iClarified app or follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and RSS for more updates.