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Startup Funding: August 2021


More than $3.5 billion in funding was funneled into 35 startups last month, much of that scattered across the globe. Several Chinese companies received significant funding as the country bulks up domestic production of wafers and GPUs. In addition, with attention increasing on the need for electric vehicles and renewable energy, big investments went into battery manufacturing startups. One comp... » read more

Startup Funding: July 2021


The trend of big funding for Chinese autonomous driving companies continued in July, with three startups each drawing $100M or more for efforts in ADAS and computer vision for automotive. The month also saw one electric vehicle manufacturer get a massive boost as it begins production on its first models, while significant funding also went to a company that wants to recycle used up EV batteries... » read more

Startup Funding: May 2021


Big investment poured into AI hardware companies this month, with a focus on edge applications. Companies are experimenting with different architectures, including analog-focused devices and those that are capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of space. IP and EDA startups in China also drew funding as the country tries to create a full chip design ecosystem. Plus, PCB assembly, photonic... » read more

Cerfe Labs: Spin-On Memory


Arm has spun off one of its more intriguing semiconductor research projects, a new non-volatile memory type called correlated electron materials RAM (CeRAM) that holds the potential to substantially reduce the cost of memory in everything from edge devices to high-performance computing. Headed by two former Arm Research insiders — Eric Hennenhoefer, who will serve as CEO and Greg Yeric, wh... » read more

Startup Funding: March 2020


Dedicated AI hardware, quantum computing, and avionics startups shined in March. Here's a look at seventeen startups, which raised a collective $525M. The avionics sector soared thanks to Lilium and its electric vertical takeoff jet. Quantum computing was another hot area, with three companies bringing in ~$88M together. Plus, chip design management, two companies developing AR glasses, and how... » read more

Spark Microsystems: LP On-Chip Radios


Spark Microsystems is taking aim at on-chip radios that continue to be the primary source of battery drain, even in power-conserving designs like Bluetooth Low Energy. "If you wear AirPods, something like 80% of the power is going to power the radio, not the sound. That's not the most efficient approach." according to Frederic Nabki, co-founder of Spark Microsystems, and a former professor o... » read more

Ayar Labs: Faster I/O


Startup AyarLabs is using a combination of high-bandwidth fiberoptics, low-cost CMOS fabrication and careful target selection to strike efficiently at the datacenter's worst bottleneck. "Moore's Law only covers the processor, not how we move data in and out of it during processing or how to get the processor and memory working at the same speed," according to Alexandra Wright-Gladstein, co-f... » read more

PowerDown: Power Efficiency


Power Down Semiconductor wants to make the batteries in smartphones and IoT devices last 10 times longer by not wasting power they’ve already used. Every time an intelligent device has a thought, it pulls power from a battery and sends it through its maze of wires and millions of gates to create a O or a 1 at key points in the control and logic circuits. “Think about how much energy... » read more

Performance-IP: Less Memory Latency


The combination of more functionality on chips plus more contention for memories is forcing companies to look at different ways to improve performance. Just adding more processing power doesn't guarantee improved performance, and throwing more memory at a problem—either SRAM or multiple levels of cache—is expensive and not always faster. There are too many processors and too many request... » read more

GMK: Rethinking The Audio Jack


The lowly audio jack, taken for granted since the days of the transistor radio, is getting a lot of attention these days. Apple thought so little of it, in fact, that it eliminated it altogether with its iPhone 7, choosing to run analog signals through the power cable rather than keeping a separate audio jack. Now GMK, a fabless semiconductor startup in Korea, is taking the reverse approach—r... » read more

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