• DarwinAI created a machine learning platform tailored to identifying hardware issues in printed circuit boards (PCBs.)
  • An option could be for Apple to potentially provide DarwinAI’s platform to contract manufacturers entrusted with producing parts for its devices.s

Recently, Apple Inc. has acquired DarwinAI Corp., a startup offering a platform designed to detect manufacturing defects in printed circuit boards (PCB), according to reports.

Recently, Bloomberg disclosed the deal, citing sources familiar with the matter. The sources revealed that the acquisition concluded earlier this year, although the exact price remains undisclosed. It is understood that a number of DarwinAI employees transitioned to Apple as part of the deal.

Established in 2017 by four researchers from the University of Waterloo, DarwinAI garnered over USD 15 million in funding from notable entities such as Honeywell International Inc., the Business Development Bank of Canada, and other investors. The infusion of capital enabled DarwinAI to create a machine-learning platform aimed at detecting hardware issues in printed circuit boards.

A printed circuit board serves as a flat, rectangular panel housing the essential components of electronic devices. Often utilized as motherboards in personal computers and servers, PCBs are also integral components in simpler devices like USB flash drives.

PCBs are produced in a distinct process from the electronic components they encase. Upon the installation of those electronic components onto a printed circuit board (PCB), the assembly is formally referred to as such. The automation of defect detection in such assemblies by the DarwinAI platform reduces the amount of manual labour required for quality assurance by manufacturers.

Apple’s intentions regarding the utilization of this technology remain uncertain. One potential scenario is that the company may opt to offer DarwinAI’s platform to contract manufacturers responsible for producing parts for its devices. These manufacturers could then leverage the software to enhance the efficiency of identifying defective components.

As per Bloomberg’s report, DarwinAI dedicated efforts to making “artificial intelligence systems smaller and faster.” The company’s knowledge in that field may also be useful to Apple, which is said to be getting ready to release a number of new generative AI features. The company’s WWDC developer conference in June is anticipated to mark the release of those features.

Bloomberg reported in February that Apple is developing a new version of its Xcode platform loaded with artificial intelligence. It is anticipated that the framework, utilized by developers to create software for Apple’s operating systems, will incorporate a programming assistant. Reportedly, it will have the ability to produce code for purposes including the testing of newly developed applications.

It’s reported that Apple is developing an AI-driven iteration of the search bar for both iOS and macOS. Sources from Bloomberg suggest that this enhanced search bar will empower users to execute actions within apps through natural language commands. Furthermore, Apple’s Keynote presentation tool is anticipated to integrate AI capabilities aimed at facilitating the creation of slideshows.