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[December 8, 2016] CLOPTech Innovation Receives Grant

SINGAPORE and SUNNYVALE, CA--(EIN Presswire - December 8, 2016) - Gigabit Wireless Specialty Solution Provider to Enable Better and Timely Services Everywhere for Everyone

CLOP Technologies Pte. Ltd., a fabless semiconductor startup company based in Singapore, announced the receipt of support through SPRING Singapore’s Technology Enterprise Commercialization Scheme, a competitive grant, for its developmental efforts towards the commercialization of proprietary technology solutions.

CLOPTech, incorporated in Singapore in November 2015, is a spin-off from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), a research agency dedicated to fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based economy.

CLOPTech, inspired by connecting the lives of people through innovative technologies, was recently admitted to Silicon Catalyst, a prestigious Silicon Valley-based incubator, and has gained access to an array of world-class networks of mentors, service providers and investors.

“Receiving the SPRING TECS grant validates our vision. We are very encouraged by the recognition of our innovative business model for bringing our multi-year R&D efforts to the real world,” said Albert Chai, founder and CEO at CLOPTech.

“We are very pleased with SPRING’s recognition of our portfolio company for its innovative solutions and its potential to make a difference to society,” said Silicon Catalyst CEO Rick Lazansky.

About CLOPTech:

CLOPTech is a Gigabits wireless solution specialist startup aiming for the fast growing Asian market. A spin-off from the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), taps into regional large ecosystem and delivers the increasing connectivity requirements for IoTs and next 5G systems.

About SPRING Singapore:

SPRING Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for helping Singapore enterprises grow and building trust in Singapore products and services. As the enterprise development agency, SPRING works with partners to help enterprises in financing, capability and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. The Technology Enterprise Commercialization Scheme (TECS) aims to catalyze the formation and growth of such start-ups based on strong technology Intellectual Property and a scalable business model. Please visit www.spring.gov.sg for more information and news about SPRING Singapore.

For more information, please visit www.cloptech.com

[October 24, 2016] GMK Innovation Extends the Lifetime of the Audio Jack

SEOUL, South Korea--(GMK - October 24, 2016) - Single-Wire Connectivity Pioneer Powers Up the Future for Billions of Devices, Links to Past of 100-Year-Old Standard

GMK, a fabless semiconductor startup company based in Korea, announced the world’s first single-wire connectivity chipset solution for smart devices, GMK’s proprietary Power and Data Communication Interface (GPCI). This chipset solution enables the 3.5mm audio jack to perform power transfer and digital data communication similar to USB, while providing legacy analog audio compatibility. Notwithstanding Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) announcement to eliminate audio jack ports, the annual world-wide billion unit market for handsets and mobile devices overwhelmingly continues to support the 3.5 mm audio jack standard.

GMK’s (GPCI) solution consists of a pair of chipsets, a Master IC (GNA101) for host devices such as mobile phones and a Slave IC (GNA102) for smart accessories such as active audio devices. In smartphone applications, the Master IC uses the microphone line for single-wire connectivity to communicate power and digital data with the Slave IC located in active accessories. A GPCII-enabled audio jack can provide power up to 200mA with a transfer rate of 1Mbps. Power and digital data transfer rates are completely optimized for digital voice transfer, remote-control key events, or any kind of data exchanges between the Host and Slave Device.

To provide backward compatibility for legacy analog devices, GPCI provides device identification and authentication process before power supplying and data communication. When the legacy analog audio device is plugged into 3.5mm audio jack, Master IC switches the communication channel to set the audio path to traditional analog mode.

By leveraging high performance speech CODEC, GPCI delivers a high quality digital voice transmission from earphone (Slave Device) to smartphone (Host Device) through an analog microphone line, while minimizing cable noise or latency issues. Audio devices with the standard USB port require big and costly inductors to reduce noise interference caused by the high voltage swing of USB connections. GPCI chipset communication is characterized by very low peak-to-peak voltage swing over the power line. This enables minimal noise interference on the audio line or circuit, providing a simple and low cost active accessory connection.

“GPCI may shift the paradigm of 100-years-old audio jack from single-purpose audio port to multi-purpose communication port. It can redefine the mobile accessory market and related eco system with enhanced audio jack.” said Tom Chiu, a partner of Enspire Capital.

As a single-wire connectivity solution, GPCI has many diverse applications, with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) earphone for smartphone as the initial entry market. Today, utilizing an ANC earphone with a smartphone audio jack requires a large battery pack for power and digital data communication. A wired ANC earphone with a USB or lightning port cannot be used when the smartphone is charging.

“Apart from eliminating the ability for simultaneous charging and listening, Lightning or USB usage poses many other challenges for audio devices. For example, because Lightning or USB port requires external digital components like DAC or amplifiers, audio device manufacturing costs are driven much higher compared to analog devices. In addition, power consumption is very high not only at audio playback time, but also during standby plugin time. Those challenges are critical for USB accessory OEM makers as well as for users. GMK’s GPCI provides an elegant low-cost, low-power solution to these challenges,” said James Hwang, CEO of GMK.

GMK is currently actively promoting GPCI to Android phone OEM/ODM manufacturers and active accessory manufacturers with a fully working prototype consisting of a Nexus phone and ANC earphone. Upgrading devices with 3.5mm audio jacks to use GNA101 and GNA102 requires only a few weeks of integration by OEM manufacturers.

“This innovative solution developed by GMK will likely greatly extend the lifetime of the venerable audio-jack standard by providing new key capabilities. This will be music to the ears of the OEM manufacturers producing over a billion Android phones every year,” said Lance Bell, CEO of LGB, LLC.

About GMK:

GMK is a fabless semiconductor startup company that provides analog and digital mixed IC and related software platform. Based on a proprietary patent portfolio, GMK is creating single-wire connectivity markets starting with smartphones and smart accessories, to IoT and wearables, on through to automotive and smart factory.

For more information, please visit www.gmkay.com

[September 28, 2016] AEPONYX to Receive $1.9M SDTC Grant for MEMS Optical Switch

MONTREAL, Canada--(Yahoo! Finance - September 28, 2016) - AEPONYX is pleased to confirm its selection by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to receive $1.9M in the form of a non-refundable grant as announced by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Hon. Navdeep Bains.

The grant is expected to be used toward the development and industrialization of planar micro optical switch chips based on AEPONYX's unique platform combining Silicon Photonics with micro-electrical-mechanical-system (MEMS). The project is budgeted at approximately $5.7M and receipt of the grant is subject to entering into a Contribution Agreement with SDTC.

"Sustainable Development Technology Canada is very proud to support the commercialization of AEPONYX's innovative technology," said Leah Lawrence, SDTC President and Chief Executive Officer. "This project will create green jobs for the local economy, increase efficiency in the sector and provide economic and environmental benefits for all Canadians."

"Use of optical switching can significantly improve the energy efficiency of telecommunication and data center networks while increasing the network capacity and lowering latency" explains AEPONYX CEO Philippe Babin. "Our chips are so small that optical switching functionality can be embedded in disaggregated switching systems as well as in optical transceiver subassemblies, therefore addressing two multi-billion fast growing markets. We are grateful to SDTC for their continued support in enabling us to bring this disruptive technology to market."

AEPONYX has developed a low-cost optical micro optical switch chip that costs one-tenth of legacy optical switches while improving switching time by a factor of one hundred. The chip will be tested by consortium members with the goal of demonstrating the required optical performance for data centre and base station applications at a lower power consumption than that of current electrical switching technology.

For more information about this project, visit: Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

About SDTC

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is an arm's-length foundation created by the Government of Canada to support innovative and entrepreneurial clean technology projects. Our portfolio of companies develop and demonstrate new technologies that address issues related to climate change, air quality, clean water and soil.

About AEPONYX Inc.

AEPONYX is a micro optical switch leader designing and marketing chips for fiber optic access to the cloud. With its patented technologies, combining planar Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) and Silicon Photonics, AEPONYX builds the fastest, most affordable and smallest micro optical switches for tunable transceivers and optical circuit switches.

For more information, please www.aeponyx.com.

Media Contact: Philippe Babin, AEPONYX inc., (514) 360-7746, philippe.babin@aeponyx.com

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: ireach.prnewswire.com

[September 13, 2016] MEMS Silicon Photonics Pioneer AEPONYX Joins Silicon Catalyst Incubator to Accelerate Time to Market

MONTREAL, Canada and SILICON VALLEY, CA--(SYS-CON Media - September 13, 2016) - Silicon Catalyst, the world's only startup incubator focused exclusively on semiconductor solutions, based in Silicon Valley, CA, announced today the admission of the startup AEPONYX into the incubator.

AEPONYX innovations relate to the use of high performance optical waveguides being moved and bent on top of planar electrostatic MEMS. The technology is covered by 6 pending patents covering the concept, the manufacturing process and applications. Silicon Catalyst partners – Synopsys, TSMC, Keysight, IMEC, Advantest, PDF Solutions Inc., and Autodesk – will provide incubator participants with access to their relevant capabilities and services to address the typical design, prototyping, test and characterization needs of startups. "We are proud of being the first Canadian company invited by Silicon Catalyst", explains AEPONYX CEO Philippe Babin. "Developing MEMS-based silicon photonics chips is a long and cost-intensive process. The expertise and in-kind support from Silicon Catalyst will significantly reduce our required investment and will secure our execution plan". "This start-up is about to revolutionize fiber optic telecommunications", says Silicon Catalyst CEO and founder Rick Lazansky. "We are quite pleased to have them on board and are eager to help them develop their products for the next generation of access networks and data centers".

About AEPONYX Inc.

AEPONYX is a micro optical switch leader designing and marketing chips for fiber optic access to the cloud. With its patented technologies, combining planar Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) and Silicon Photonics, AEPONYX builds the fastest, most affordable and smallest micro optical switches for tunable transceivers and optical circuit switches.

For more information, please visit www.aeponyx.com

[August 24, 2016] TI Announces Strategic Relationship With Silicon Catalyst

DALLAS, TX--(TI.com - August 24, 2016) - Texas Instruments to gain access to early semiconductor innovations through strategic relationship with Silicon Catalyst

Texas Instruments (TI) recently entered into an agreement with Silicon Catalyst, a Silicon Valley-based incubator, that will expand TI’s access to new technology innovations and potentially lead to engagements with semiconductor startups focused on creating chips and system solutions in analog and embedded processing.

“This agreement expands TI’s access to innovations in the semiconductor industry startup segment and facilitates our ability to engage with companies that are creating new technologies complementary to areas where TI is also innovating,” said Ralf Muenster, Director, CTO office at TI.

“TI is eager to collaborate with startups, early stage companies and entrepreneurs working on silicon solutions. Silicon Catalyst’s exclusive focus on semiconductor startups provides another great way for TI to gain unique and early access to the silicon innovation happening in the startup and entrepreneurial world,” Muenster added.

"The strategic relationship with TI is both a tribute to their forward-thinking vision and a validation of our unique value proposition to both the semiconductor and startup communities,” said Silicon Catalyst CEO Rick Lazansky. “This strategic relationship with Texas Instruments will afford our startup companies access to a truly world class organization. Startup companies in our industry reap tremendous benefits from deep, long-term engagement with industry leaders, like Texas Instruments, including guidance and relationships with experts.”

In 2015, Silicon Catalyst received the 2015 ACE Award for Startup Company of the Year. In the past 15 months, Silicon Catalyst has screened nearly 100 startups from the U.S., Europe and Asia. The 10 startups admitted to the incubator are developing innovations in LED, energy, silicon photonics, memory technology, wireless communications and biomedical devices.

“These 10 startups are proof that the semiconductor startup ecosystem is thriving, and there is no lack of great ideas and inspiration,” added Lazansky.

About Texas Instruments:
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog integrated circuits and embedded processors. By employing the world’s brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today.

Learn more at www.ti.com

Trademarks

TI E2E is a trademark of Texas Instruments Incorporated. All registered trademarks and other trademarks belong to their respective owners.

[May 01, 2015] Silicon Catalyst, The Semiconductor Incubator, Announces Initial Three Startups

SILICON VALLEY, CA--(Marketwired - May 1, 2015) - Silicon Catalyst, the world's only startup incubator focused exclusively on semiconductor solutions, based in Silicon Valley, CA, announced today the selection of its first startups and the global opening of applications for admission into the incubator. Over 700 Silicon Valley technology and business leaders attended the Silicon Sunrise Startup Event at the newly opened Avaya Soccer stadium, home to the San Jose Earthquakes.

The initial startups admitted into the Silicon Catalyst incubator are ACP Semiconductor, BuzzTagg and zGlue. ACP Semiconductor develops power conversion and power management integrated circuits for high volume markets such as Smart Energy in the Internet of Things (IoT). BuzzTagg provides low-cost RFID alternatives for enterprise environments such as factories and hospitals. zGlue is developing a unique active interposer solution to enable IoT through 3D chip stacking in an affordable, small form factor.

Building upon its founding partners, Synopsys, TSMC, Keysight and imec, Silicon Catalyst welcomed its newest participants: Advantest, the leader in automated test equipment (ATE) solutions, PDF Solutions, Inc., provider of yield improvement technologies and services for the IC manufacturing product life cycle and Autodesk is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. All of the participants are providing access to their relevant capabilities and services to address the typical design, prototyping, test and characterization needs of Silicon Catalyst startups.

The initial incubator site is located at the Advantest facility on Zanker Road at North First Street in San Jose, CA.

Michael Malone, noted technology writer who has extensively covered the Silicon Valley technology scene and its leading companies, conveyed to the audience the importance of continuing to re-invent the semiconductor innovation model. "Now, at the fiftieth anniversary of Moore's Law, the moment is right to remember where we came from, the engine of the digital age, the wellspring of everything we have accomplished in this Valley. And what better way to do that than to begin growing the next generation of semiconductor startups -- the companies that will lead us into Silicon Valley's next great era. Silicon has at last returned to Silicon Valley. This is a moment to celebrate -- and in light of what is to come, to remember. Congratulations, Silicon Catalyst."

Silicon Catalyst's chairman Mike Noonen announced Daniel Armbrust as the organization's new CEO and introduced the startup staff to the attendees. "We are poised to re-energize the semiconductor startup community and ecosystem," said Armbrust. "We are helping startups address challenges moving from idea to realization. Our incubator supplies startups with facilities, funding, tools, mentors, networking and marketing acumen to successfully launch their companies' novel technology solutions."

The success of the Silicon Sunrise Startup Event was due in part to the generous support of AlixPartners, Lonergan Partners, Jack B. Keenan, Inc. and Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA).


[February 23, 2015] Silicon Catalyst Announces Partnership With imec to Support Semiconductor Startups

SILICON VALLEY CA--(Marketwired - Feb 23, 2015) - Silicon Catalyst today announced a partnership with imec to support semiconductor solution start-ups. While there are many incubators and accelerators for software and even some for hardware, Silicon Catalyst is the world's first focused exclusively on semiconductor solutions. Imec is not only one of the world's leading nanotechnology research organizations but also one of the most advanced and comprehensive design services partners.

Imec's IC-link division has an extensive industrial experience that makes it a trusted partner to provide technical support in the areas of layout, prototyping, fabrication, and the testing of advanced electronic products. Imec IC-link has over 25 years of experience running the Europractice IC fabrication program and has demonstrated experience and success with 500 design tape-outs per year, engaging with over 300 companies and 700 research institutes.

The Silicon Catalyst model is unique:

  • Build a coalition of companies to help start-ups reduce the complexity of semiconductor innovation
  • Incubate a select number of start-ups each year and provide them the tools and support needed to get to work, rather than spend precious time hunting for funding
  • Assemble a world-class network of mentors to guide these entrepreneurs

Key to the Silicon Catalyst business model is providing access to mentors and partners who believe it is in the interest of the entire industry to support start-ups. Imec shares this belief and joins Silicon Catalyst's founding partners EDA and IP provider Synopsys; test & measurement equipment company Keysight; and pure-play semiconductor foundry TSMC.

"Silicon Catalyst's vision to reduce the cost of innovation for start-ups meshes perfectly with imec's mission to work with global partners to deliver industry-relevant technology solutions. Through this partnership, Silicon Catalyst will promote imec IC-link's capabilities and services to its incubation companies and support imec IC-link to extend its activities in the USA," said Steve Beckers, vice president and general manager imec IC-link.

"I know firsthand that imec is a remarkable source of semiconductor expertise, innovation and ingenuity and that the people of imec are a delight to work with", said Mike Noonen, chairman and co-founder of Silicon Catalyst. "We are thrilled to partner with imec IC-link to support and mentor the next generation of semiconductor entrepreneurs."

Traditional investors have mostly abandoned early-stage semiconductor investing however, Silicon Catalyst and its partners believe this is one of the most exciting times to be innovating with semiconductors. The reason is that the mega-trend opportunities in IoT, biotech, wearables, energy, transportation, and mobile will all have new semiconductor innovation at their core. In addition, most of these markets do not require leading-edge technologies and enormous R&D budgets to create novel and valuable products. Furthermore, since upfront costs are reduced, start-ups will become much better investments and follow-on funding will go to true innovation and value creation. Silicon Catalyst expects to see renewed interest from angel, strategic and venture investors as a result.


[December 09, 2014] Introducing Silicon Catalyst, the First Incubator for Semiconductor Solution Startups

SILICON VALLEY, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2014) - Silicon Catalyst today launched the industry's first incubator for semiconductor solution start-ups. While there are many incubators and accelerators for software and even some for hardware, this is the world's first focused exclusively on semiconductor solutions. Silicon Catalyst will address the challenges faced by start-ups when going from idea to company formation to prototype, along with the industry-wide concern about the lack of fund-worthy start-ups to drive novel innovation and growth.

The Silicon Catalyst model is unique:

  • Build a coalition of companies to help start-ups reduce the complexity of semiconductor innovation
  • Incubate a select number of start-ups each year and provide them the tools and support needed to get to work, rather than spend precious time hunting for funding
  • Assemble a world-class network of mentors to guide these entrepreneurs

Key to the Silicon Catalyst business model is providing access to mentors who believe it is in the interest of the entire industry to support start-ups. The first of these mentoring companies include EDA and IP provider Synopsys; test & measurement equipment company Keysight; and pure-play semiconductor foundry TSMC.

In addition to these companies, Silicon Catalyst is in discussions to add to its rapidly expanding network with companies from the semiconductor ecosystem ranging from enablement to fabless to systems companies that will help mentor qualified start-ups admitted to the incubator.

"A vibrant start-up community is a valuable component in the development of any business and the multi-trillion-dollar industries that we enable," commented Aart de Geus, Chairman and co-CEO, Synopsys. "Synopsys is proud to be a Silicon Catalyst founding partner to support semiconductor solution start-ups."

"Since the very beginning of Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs such as Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard have started small companies with large dreams," said Todd Cutler, General Manager of Keysight EEsof EDA. "Keysight is proud to help the next generation of entrepreneurs launch towards achieving their dreams."

"The launch of this startup incubator parallels TSMC's emphasis on a 'Grand Alliance' of collaborating companies in the semiconductor industry to increase innovation," said Rick Cassidy, President, TSMC North America. "TSMC is pleased to join the efforts of Silicon Catalyst to help the next wave of fabless semiconductor start-ups achieve success."

Industry Veterans Support Silicon Innovators
Silicon Catalyst's managing team is made up of semiconductor industry veterans who saw the need for a new approach to helping entrepreneurs make their ideas a reality. They have brought their experience and network together to launch this venture. They are:

  • Dan Armbrust, formerly CEO of Sematech and IBM Microelectronics manufacturing executive
  • Mike Noonen, board director at Ambiq Micro, Adapteva and Kilopass, formerly EVP at GlobalFoundries and NXP Semiconductors, Global Semiconductor Alliance board director and National Semiconductor executive
  • Rick Lazansky, board director Sand Hill Angels; Board Director i-GATE Innovation Hub; serial entrepreneur and founder Vantage Analysis Systems, Denali Software; former VP of Engineering at Xpedion Design Systems, acquired by Agilent

Traditional investors have mostly abandoned early stage semiconductor investing however, Silicon Catalyst and its partners believe this is one of the most exciting times to be innovating with semiconductors. The reason is that the mega-trend opportunities in IoT, biotech, wearables, energy, transportation, and mobile will all have new semiconductor innovation at their core. In addition, most of these markets do not require leading-edge technologies and enormous R&D budgets to create novel and valuable products. Furthermore, since upfront costs are reduced, start-ups will become much better investments and follow-on funding will go to true innovation and value creation. Silicon Catalyst expects to see renewed interest from angel, strategic and venture investors as a result.

Silicon Catalyst operations are expected to begin in Silicon Valley, California in the first quarter of 2015. Startups are anticipated to come from not just Silicon Valley but from all around the world. Silicon Catalyst plans to collaborate with local incubators to enable these entrepreneurs to leverage the Silicon Catalyst partner resources without needing to relocate. In this way, Silicon Catalyst plans to be a gateway to Silicon Valley's robust resources and customers while keeping innovation frugal and successful.


Daniel Armbrust
Industry Relations, Partner
dan@sicatalyst.com