EE Times Silicon 60: 2015’s Startups to Watch

September 17, 2015 // By Peter Clarke

It has been just over a year since EE Times produced a version15.1 of the Silicon 60.

Nitero Inc. (Austin, Texas) is a fabless semiconductor company developing high performance, low power 60GHz CMOS solutions.  The technology builds on CMOS mm-wave research conducted byNICTA and the University of Melbourne from 2004 until Nitero’s founding in 2011.

Omniradar NV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) has buildt a radar IC, where the complete radar including antenna’s and analog-to-digital conversion are integrated on one piece of silicon for the 60GHz frequency band.  The company was founded in 2011 and has been working with NXP Semiconductor.

PsiKick Inc. (Charlottesville, Virginia) has developed a wireless sensor networking SoC using an operating voltage down to 0.25V. PsiKick was launched in 2012 based on the work of Benton Calhoun and David Wentzloff conducted at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan in low-power digital and analog circuit design.

Qualtré Inc. (Marlborough, Mass), founded in 2008, is a venture-backed company commercializing solid-state silicon motion sensors for consumer electronics based on a proprietary, multi-axis bulk acoustic wave MEMS gyroscope technology. Qualtré has raised $36 million to date from an investor syndicate comprised of Matrix Partners, Pilot House Ventures, Eastward Capital and a strategic investor.

Quantenna Communications Inc. (Fremont, Calif.), founded in 2006, claims to be the first company to introduce a commercially available, standards-based 802.11ac and 802.11n 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) chipset.  The technology is being used to support whole home, full HD video distribution and networking services over standard Wi-Fi networks. Quantenna has developed a 10Gbps architecture for multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO).

Quantum Materials Corp. (San Marcos, Texas), founded in 2008 is a manufacturer of quantum dot materials and in particular of non heavy metal quantum dots for use in liquid crystal displays and other applications.

QST (Shanghai, China), founded in 2012, otherwise known as Shanghai Quality Sensor Technology Corp. Ltd. has two eCompass products; the QMC5983 and the QMC6983. Basd on a licensing of Honeywell’s anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) sensor technology and is also working on gyroscopes.

Saigon Semiconductor Technology Inc. (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)designs and manufactures RF, microwave and millimeter-wave semiconductors and offers gallium arsenide foundry services. Founded in 2014 SSTI is building a wafer fab to house equipment acquired from Universal Semiconductor Technology Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.).

Senodia Technologies Co. Ltd. (Shanghai, China), founded in August 2008, was one of the first Chinese MEMS gyroscope providers and has expanded its offering to a full suite of inertial MEMS 6-axis and 9-axis solutions and applications for smart phones.

Sckipio Technologies Ltd. (Ramat Gan, Israel), founded in 2012, announced a G.Fast modem chipset in October 2014. Sckipio claims to be the first company to deliver modems and that 20 percent of the standard came from Sckipio technical contributions.

SigFox Wireless SAS (Toulouse, France) founded in 2009 is the developer and operator of a cellular network in France dedicated to low-throughput machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things. It makes use of ultranarrow band radio technology and licenses operators in other countries including the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Siliconarts Inc. (Seoul, Korea), established in April 2010, is a provider of real-time ray tracing GPU technology. The company has designed and introduced the RayCore 1000 and RayCore2000 GPU cores for mobile and embedded operations.

Softkinetic SA (Brussels, Belgium) founded in 2007 is a developer of sensor-to-software 3D gesture recognition systems. It has licensed its platform to Texas Instruments Inc. and Melexis SA.

Soft Machines Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) was founded in 2006, has raised over $125 million and grown into a 250-person semiconductor startup with operations in the US, India and Russia. Soft Machines is in the business of licensing and codeveloping VISC architecture-based microprocessor and SoC products for IoT, mobile and cloud markets. Investors include Samsung Ventures, AMD, Mubadala, RVC, KACST, Rusnano, Taqnia.

Solantro Semiconductor Corp. (Ottawa Canada) develops chipsets and reference designs for module integrated electronics within distributed photovoltaic systems. Founded in 2009,

Sol Chip Ltd. (Haifa, Israel), founded in 2009, has developed a chip scale photovoltaic energy harvester which can provide voltages at between 0.75V and 9V useful for autonomous low-power electronic systems. The PV cell can produce 3.3-milliwatts in full daylight and up to 20-microwatts under office lighting.

Standing Egg Co. Ltd. (Seoul, Korea) was founded in May 2013 and develops MEMS sensor products including accelerometers, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, and others.

StoreDot Ltd. (Ramat Gan, Israel) was founded in 2011 to develop products and technology around peptide–based organic quantum dot materials. These nanometer-scale crystals have physical dimensions so small that quantum mechanics affect the electro-optic properties. The materials are tunable and the range of behaviors is wide, offering potential applications in displays, non-volatile memories, image sensors and batteries.

SureCore Ltd. (Sheffield, England) SureCore is a 2011 spin-off from Glasgow University and is working on memory IP at 28nm and smaller critical dimensions in FinFET and FDSOI processes alongside simulation firm Gold Standard Simulations Ltd.

TeraDeep Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) founded in December 2013 as spin off from Purdue University to focus on the design of mobile coprocessors and neural network hardware for the understanding of images and videos.

TriLumina Corp. (Albuquerque, New Mexico) was founded in 2010 to develop semiconductor lasers. It has developed technology capable of powering and synchronizing multiple lasers. Expected applications for Light Engine technology include LIDAR for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), natural user interfaces and free-space optical communications.

Vesper Technologies Inc. (Boston, Mass.), previously called Baker-Calling and Sonify, is a University of Michigan startup founded in July 2009 to develop piezoelectric MEMS microphones and bring superior microphones to handheld devices. The company claims its piezoelectric MEMS sensing is to be able to reduce the noise-floor compared with conventional capacitive sensing technology.

V-Nova Ltd. (London, England) founded in 2011 by Guido Meardi (CEO), Luca Rossato (chief scientist), Eric Achtmann (executive chairman) and Pierdavide Marcolongo (angel investor), to create a superior video codec. Perseus is the result and is being developed in an open innovation model with a business consortium that includes Broadcom, Encompass, Intel, Hitachi and Sky Italia.

Wavelens SA (Grenoble, France) is a CEA-Leti spinoff that was launched in November 2012. The company focuses on developing MEMS optical systems to integrate such autofocus, image stabilization and zoom.

WiTricity Corp. (Watertown, Mass.) was founded in 2007 to commercialize technology developed by company founder Professor Marin Soljacic to enablewireless power transfer over distance using magnetic resonance in line with the A4WP Rezence specification. It is licensing its technology for use in consumer electronics, automotive, medical devices and defense.

Xingtera (Shanghai, China), established in 2010 is a fabless chip company focused on developing ICs for four markets: home networking, IP camera connectivity, network infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT). Xingtera has been developing ITU-T any-wire modem ICs and advocates plus low power WiFi integrated solution as the home network of choice worldwide.

Last year’s Silicon 60 and commentary:

EE Times Silicon 60: Hot Startups to Watch

Silicon 60 Reveals Shifts in Technology Focus