Indie Semiconductor Expands ADAS Offering with GEO Acquisition
ADAS Sensor Modalities, Source: Indie Semiconductor
Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS) innovator Indie Semiconductor (INDI) has announced its planned acquisition of GEO Semiconductor for a combination of $90 million in cash and $90 million of Class A common shares. Founded in 2007, and based out of Aliso Viejo, CA Indie develops semiconductor and software solutions for a range automotive applications to include advanced driver assistance (ADAS), connectivity, user experience and vehicle electrification.
Indie raised $345 million from it's IPO back in June 2021 at a valuation of $1.4 billion, so the GEO acquisition represents a significant investment of capital for the company.
Expanding Sensor Modalities for Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS)
Within the ADAS market Indie already ships millions of its Echosense and Sonosense ultrasound chip sets for parking assist applications, and is developing LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) chip sets as part of its larger ADAS portfolio as well.
Echosense ultrasound parking assist AFE, Source: Indie Semiconductor
The Echosense analog front end (AFE) is comprised of a 32 bit Arm cortex M0 processor along with a full transmit and receive ultrasound front end to assist drivers with vehicle parking. Integrated power management connects directly to the car battery to power the device, to include the transducer driver and low noise (LNA) receive channel. Sensing and ranging of objects is performed by signal conditioning and digital processing of the reflected, receive ultrasonic waveforms.
The GEO acquisition will allow Indie to expand its current in-house ADAS portfolio to include GEO's video camera and image processing based sensor solutions. GEO holds 100 global patents related to its video processing technologies and ships its solutions to leading global auto OEMs that include Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Toyota.
Image processing is emerging as an increasingly important component to ADAS systems, with next generation vehicles projected to have as many as 20 on board cameras in support of applications like lane change assist, highway pilot, e-mirror and blind spot detection.
GEO Video Processing Technology
Founded in 2009, GEO is a fabless semiconductor company that develops video processing chip sets for automotive camera applications. As a private company, GEO has raised a little over $27 million in external funding to date.
The GEO portfolio is comprised of multiple generations of video processors to include those intended for direct driver viewing, remote sensing via computer vision and machine learning algorithms that process video data steams for input to driver assistance functions like pedestrian recognition.
Each video processor system on chip (SoC) is comprised of several sub-processors to include Computer Vision, Geometric and Image Signal processors. A Vector Graphics Engine allows high resolution, real-time graphics to be displayed in conjunction with live video streams for a "heads-up" display capability.
GEO Camera Video Processor (CVP) System-on-Chip (SoC), Source: GEO Semiconductor
The chips are designed in a 28nm process to enable small, low power automotive edge camera applications, and support ASIL B and AEC Q100 Grade 2. According to CEO Dave Orton, GEO was not always exclusive to the automotive space but completed a full pivot to the sector back in 2015.
Automotive heads-up display, Source: GEO Semiconductor
Positioned for Growth
Indie has been growing quickly in recent years, with revenues expanding from ~ $22 million in 2020 to close to $100 million for the most recent trailing twelve month (TTM) period, according to Yahoo Finance. The GEO acquisition will be accretive to Indie's earnings, offering a new growth engine as the company distributes GEO's video processor offerings through its Tier 1 automotive sales channels.
GEO represents Indie's second acquisition since its IPO, preceded by the acquisition of TeraXion in August, 2021. TeraXion is a leader in the design and manufacturing of innovative, high-end components incorporating low noise lasers, Bragg gratings and integrated photonics and support's Indie's LiDAR development efforts.
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