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[November 10, 2017] Canadian Government announces $2.2 million in funding for Silicon Catalyst Portfolio Company SPARK Microsystems to develop technology for wireless communications devices

MONTREAL, Canada--(Business Insider - November 10, 2017) - MP Marc Miller announces $2.2 million for Montréal company to develop technology for wireless communications devices

Canadians could be using their mobile devices for much longer without draining the battery thanks to a Government of Canada investment in a new clean technology aimed at dramatically reducing the energy needed to power wireless devices.

The $2.2-million investment was announced today by Marc Miller, Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Îles-des-Sœurs, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

This investment will support SPARK Microsystems in designing, building and testing an ultra-low power microchip. The energy-efficient chip has the potential to reduce the power consumption of devices connected to the Internet as well as the amount of waste created during battery production. That will benefit Canadian consumers and create well-paying middle-class jobs in Canada.

This project is being funded through Sustainable Development Technology Canada, which works with Canadian companies to bring early-stage clean technologies to market.

Investments in clean technology are part of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.


“Investments like the one we are celebrating today are key to Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy. It is clean tech innovation that will help propel Canada’s economy forward while at the same time creating new jobs and protecting our environment.”

– Marc Miller, Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Îles-des-Sœurs

“Our government’s investments in clean technology reflect our commitment to protecting the planet. But they also point to a clear and strategic direction for economic development through innovation. That’s because innovations in clean tech will lead to products and services that have an impact on all sectors of the economy. And clean tech has the potential to create thousands of well-paying jobs for Canadians. That’s how innovation leads to a better Canada.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Anyone who has watched the battery life drain from their cellphone just when they need it most will want to keep their eyes on SPARK Microsystems’ innovation. This ultra-low-power transceiver chip will reduce power consumption, battery waste and inputs to the manufacturing process while improving battery life across a wide range of devices. SDTC is proud to support this game-changing clean technology.”

– Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada

“Currently, the battery life of a wide range of wireless devices is not sufficient for many applications, leading to high energy consumption, frequent recharge cycles, and batteries that require costly maintenance and generate significant waste. SPARK Microsystems has developed a unique wireless technology that is more energy efficient than incumbent technologies. It significantly lowers the energy used by the wireless communications function of a device in order to dramatically lower its reliance on batteries.”

– Frederic Nabki, CEO, SPARK Microsystems

[November 10, 2017] Silicon Catalyst Featured in EETimes

SAN JOSE, CA--(EE Times - November 10, 2017) - Chip Incubator Warms New Startups

Rick Merritt - Silicon Catalyst added ON Semiconductor as a partner and two new startups to the dozen it incubates. The accelerator focused on semiconductor startups hopes to expand its geographic footprint in January and launch its first graduates soon.

Like most of its partners, ON Semi joined Silicon Catalyst to get a better view of its pipeline of startups. The incubator screens hundreds of startups every year to select a handful that become portfolio companies, getting access to EDA and test tools and services from partners, including a shuttle run at TSMC.

“My role is to look outside the company and fill innovation and technology gaps,” said Mamoon Rashid, senior vice president of strategic ventures at ON Semi. “This partnership gives us a view of the semiconductor startup environment…there are a lot of incubators in software, but not a lot in semiconductors."

Not surprisingly, one of Silicon Catalyst’s newest startups is designing an accelerator for machine learning, an area that has reawakened an otherwise sleepy area of venture investing in silicon.

Xceler Systems Inc. is designing an FPGA-like graph processor, promising substantially lower power than alternative chips for supervised and unsupervised learning. It eventually aims to make it based on the RISC-V architecture.

Silicon Catalyst’s other new startup, Power Down Semiconductors, developed a process to recycle charge and prevent power loses in chips and displays. It focuses on the market for consumer electronics devices such as smartphones.

Also in the Silicon Catalyst portfolio are the following startups with their products:

  • ACP Semi: Smart, integrated LEDs
  • Aeponyx: MEMS-based silicon photonics switches
  • Ayar Labs: Optical I/O blocks made in CMOS
  • Chaos Prime: An IoT radio to withstand factory interference
  • ClopTech: A 60 GHz radio
  • Rex Computing: A parallel processor
  • Spark Microsystems: A lot power IoT radio
  • Zeno: Designer of a 1T SRAM

The company, announced in late 2014, takes 10-12% in equity in exchange for incubating startups for two years, providing them tools, services, connections and mentoring.

“We have three companies nearing their two-year anniversary date, so we have to figure out how we do graduation,” said Rick Lazansky, Silicon Catalyst’s chief executive.

— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times

Semiconductor IPOs Back in Vogue

[November 8, 2017] ON Semiconductor & Silicon Catalyst Partner to Assure Next Generation of Innovation

PHOENIX, AZ and SILICON VALLEY, CA--(EDA Cafe - November 8, 2017) - Focus on establishing supportive ecosystem for silicon solution startups

In a drive toward assuring the next generation of innovation in the digital world, ON Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: ON), driving energy efficient innovations, has joined the network on corporate affiliates of Silicon Catalyst, the global incubator focused exclusively on solutions in silicon. This relationship provides further commitment to the development of a supportive ecosystem for semiconductor start-ups and commitment to silicon innovation.

The ecosystem provides ON Semiconductor with early access to the innovative Portfolio Companies of Silicon Catalyst and the opportunity to consult with Silicon Catalyst in the pursuit of startups that align with ON Semiconductor’s current and future focus markets.

“ON Semiconductor’s recent growth has been fueled by the cultivation of strategic business and technologies, complimentary to areas where we are innovating,” said Mamoon Rashid, senior vice president of strategic business ventures at ON Semiconductor. “The need for a strong ecosystem for the development of new semiconductor companies and their innovations is clear. ON Semiconductor is excited to participate in the Silicon Catalyst ecosystem, both gaining access to early silicon innovations as well as provide guidance and intellectual resources needed to support ongoing development in the semiconductor industry.”

"Joining forces with ON Semiconductor will accelerate the development of the ecosystem for the next generation of innovation in silicon,” said Nick Kepler, managing partner at Silicon Catalyst. “The insight and real world experience that ON Semiconductor will provide to us and to our Portfolio Companies will be invaluable. We’ve already seen a great impact from ON Semiconductor, and our other partners, as the outlook for semiconductor startups today is the best it has been in the past decade, and continues to improve.”

In the past 24 months, Silicon Catalyst has screened well over 100 start-ups from the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The 12 startups admitted to the incubator are developing innovations in LED, energy, silicon photonics, memory technology, wireless communications, and biomedical devices.

“These 12 start-ups are proof that the semiconductor start-up ecosystem is thriving, and there is no lack of great ideas and inspiration,” added Lazansky.

About ON Semiconductor

ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ON) is driving energy efficient innovations, empowering customers to reduce global energy use. The company is a leading supplier of semiconductor-based solutions, offering a comprehensive portfolio of energy efficient power management, analog, sensors, logic, timing, connectivity, discrete, SoC and custom devices. The company’s products help engineers solve their unique design challenges in automotive, communications, computing, consumer, industrial, medical, aerospace and defense applications. ON Semiconductor operates a responsive, reliable, world-class supply chain and quality program, a robust compliance and ethics program, and a network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and design centers in key markets throughout North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific regions. For more information, visit http://www.onsemi.com.

Follow @onsemi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/onsemi

ON Semiconductor and the ON Semiconductor logo are registered trademarks of Semiconductor Components Industries, LLC. All other brand and product names appearing in this document are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.

[November 1, 2017] CLOP Technologies and Sivers IMA signed Memorandum of Understanding

SILICON VALLEY, CA--(Sivers IMA - November 1, 2017) - CLOP Technologies and Sivers IMA signed Memorandum of Understanding

CLOP Technologies (“CLOPTech”) and Sivers IMA are pleased to announce their newly formed partnership. CLOPTech, a Singapore company providing Gigabit wireless solutions and engaging in the Singapore Smart Nation initiative. The intention of this partnership is to provide the market with a fully integrated wireless Gigabit offering using both companies’ intellectual property. The complete solution includes Sivers IMA’s WiGig RFIC, TRX BF01 and CLOPTech’s CT6100, modem, which together will create a compliant 802.11ad (WiGig) communications module ready to use.

“This cooperation is certainly exciting to us, since it will definitely widen the market opportunities for Sivers IMA. CLOPTech has shown great technical capabilities. I am also impressed with their detailed understanding of the Asian market as well as their customer and partner network”, says Anders Storm, CEO of Sivers IMA.

“Sivers IMA offers world class WiGig 60 GHz radio performance, which is critical for any WiGig system. For CLOPTech, working with Sivers has many benefits and opens up market opportunities for both our companies. This partnership secures an integral component for our system offerings and puts us in an excellent position when designing our modules and solutions for our customers. We see a clear market demand with customers already lined up, ready to go to market with our integrated solution”, says Albert Chai, CEO of CLOPTech.

The design and development work is now in progress and the aim is to offer engineering samples to key customers in the beginning of 2018.

About CLOP Technologies

CLOP Technologies Pte Ltd is a company incorporated in 2015, Singapore, with a vision to provide world-class, compelling and affordable solutions to improve connectivity and quality of life for everyone, hence the name Connecting the Lives Of People, CLOPTech. Over this short time, CLOPTech has grown on a remarkable scale and will continue to grow and fulfill our promises to Provide Gigabit Wireless Everywhere, for Everyone. Learn more at http://www.cloptech.com.

About Sivers IMA Holding

Sivers IMA Holding AB is a leading and internationally renowned supplier, publicly traded under SIVE. The wholly owned subsidiaries Sivers IMA and CST Global develop, manufacture and sell cutting-edge chips, components, modules and subsystems based on proprietary advanced semiconductor technology in microwave, millimeter wave and optical semiconductors. Headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Learn more at http://siversima.com.

[October 17, 2017] Active Layer Parametrics and EAG Laboratories Announce Agreement

SILICON VALLEY, CA--(EAG Laboratories - October 17, 2017) - Active Layer Parametrics and EAG Laboratories Announce Agreement on Sale of First ALPro-50 Metrology Tool

Active Layer Parametrics (ALP), a Silicon Valley semiconductor metrology tool startup company, and EAG Laboratories (EAG), a global scientific services company, today announced their agreement for the purchase of ALP’s first commercial metrology tool (ALPro-50) by EAG. ALP has developed a novel technology for the comprehensive electrical characterization of electronic materials. As high tech industry progresses to more advanced applications, measuring the electrical properties of ever-thinner electronic materials employed in high-performance device structures necessitates high precision measurement for accelerated and efficient unit process development and device modeling. Unlike existing measurement techniques, the ALPro technology provides carrier concentration, mobility and resistivity depth profiles through thin semiconductor layers at angstrom-level resolution.

“We are very excited to make our first ALPro-50 tool sale to EAG who is a world leader in electronic materials characterization,” said ALP CEO Dr. Bulent Basol. “EAG’s leadership in Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS) analysis of materials combined with ALP’s revolutionary toolbox will enable us to develop measurement recipes for a variety of materials employed in a wide range of devices. This toolbox will be invaluable for companies developing ultra-shallow technologies on Si, as well as for groups working on the development and qualification of materials, process recipes and tools for Ge and III-V based devices.”

“We are excited to be the first company to acquire ALP’s unique ALPro-50 tool,” said Pat Lindley, Executive Vice President of EAG. “We believe ALP’s technology has much to offer our customers in supplementing the concentration depth profiles provided by SIMS with valuable depth profiles of electrical properties.”

About ALP

ALP is a Silicon Valley semiconductor metrology equipment startup developing a technology with the unique capability of measuring and profiling all of the critical electrical properties, including mobility and active carrier concentration, of semiconductor layers at atomic-level resolution. Application areas include precise characterization of source-drain regions for MOSFETs and new material layers (SiGe, Ge, III-V) used in advanced device structures. For more information, please visit: www.alpinc.net.

About EAG

One of the most respected names in materials characterization for research, production and failure analysis support, EAG Laboratories is a global scientific services company operating at the intersection of science, technology and business. Through multidisciplinary expertise in the life, materials and engineering sciences, EAG Laboratories helps companies innovate and improve products, ensure quality and safety, protect intellectual property and comply with evolving global regulations. EAG Laboratories employs 1,200+ employees across 20 laboratories in seven countries, serving more than 7,000 clients worldwide. For more information, please visit: www.eag.com.

[April 4, 2017] SPARK Microsystems Joins the Silicon Catalyst Incubator

MONTREAL, CANADA and SILICON VALLEY, CA--(SPARK Microsystems - April 4, 2017) - Silicon Catalyst, the world’s only startup incubator focused exclusively on semiconductor solutions, based in Silicon Valley, CA, announced the admission of the startup SPARK Microsystems into the incubator.

SPARK Microsystems offers a unique and innovative wireless transceiver technology that achieves an order of magnitude better energy efficiency and latency than Bluetooth Low Energy or ZigBee at faster data rates. The technology significantly extends the battery life of electronics, and enables the battery-less operation of wireless devices such as sensors when paired with energy harvesting technologies.

Silicon Catalyst CEO Rick Lazansky said, “By enabling wireless to become the most energy efficient part of a system, SPARK Microsystems is poised to disrupt the perception of the wireless function by system engineers.”

Key market drivers for SPARK Microsystems are notably related to the growth of the Internet of Things, which includes high volume segments such as sensor networks, home and industrial automation, smart buildings, automotive, medical wireless devices and consumer electronics.

SPARK Microsystems Cofounder Frederic Nabki explains, “Businesses looking to enter the Internet of Things with battery or energy harvesting operated devices face a critical challenge: there is no suitable wireless solution available to provide satisfactory battery life without significantly compromising link performance or responsiveness. Our technology changes that. Thanks to the in-kind partners provided by Silicon Catalyst and to their connections to expert advisors, we will significantly reduce the time-to-market of our innovative wireless technology. We are excited to be part of the semiconductor development and investment in Canada, in cooperation with Silicon Catalyst.”

John East, former CEO of Actel said, “No one wants an array of IoT devices that must have their batteries changed often. In fact, no one wants to change batteries at all. Energy harvesting is the answer, but with the upcoming requirements for transferring larger amounts of data at ever-increasing rates, today’s ‘standard’ wireless techniques are more or less incompatible with energy harvesting. Today’s standards were created to solve a specific set of requirements and they did it well, but times are changing. Today’s standards won’t solve tomorrow’s problems. In fact, they have become tomorrow’s problem! SPARK is the answer.” East joined SPARK Microsystems as a Senior Advisor and Strategist after being introduced to its founders and technology by Silicon Catalyst.

About SPARK Microsystems

SPARK Microsystems is a fabless semiconductor company that is leading the way towards ultra-low power wireless communications for the Internet of Things revolution. With its patented technologies, SPARK Microsystems will bring to market a high performance wireless transceiver that allows for orders of magnitude improved power consumption and latency while providing higher data rates than competing technologies. For more information, please visit www.sparkmicro.com.

[March 7, 2017] TechCode and Silicon Catalyst Combined Strength Creates Unprecedented Global Support Network for Silicon-Focused Start-Ups

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Yahoo! Finance - March 7, 2017) - TechCode and Silicon Catalyst Collaboration to Rev Up Semiconductor Start-Up Ecosystem

Incubators combined strength creates unprecedented global support network for silicon-focused start-ups

TechCode, a global network of startup incubators and entrepreneur ecosystems, and Silicon Catalyst, the world’s leading incubator focused on silicon and electronics systems, today announces a partnership to support startups set to deliver innovative silicon and electronics systems. Leveraging the unique strengths of each program, startups from the TechCode cohort can utilize the Silicon Catalyst extensive semiconductor ecosystem to develop products in a variety of industries including healthcare, robotics, artificial intelligence and more, while Silicon Catalyst startups benefit from TechCode locations and investor network.

“As TechCode’s startups today increasingly focus on innovations that require tapping into the semiconductor ecosystem, Siilcon Catalyst will provide a critical element vital to the success of these startups,” said TechCode CEO Erica Huang. “No one has built a better position in this ecosystem than Silicon Catalyst and we’re thrilled to add them to our growing list of best-in-class partners in an effort to further assist the startups in our global accelerator programs.”

With an extensive global network of incubators across locations such as Silicon Valley, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul, Berlin, Finland and Tel Aviv, TechCode is uniquely capable of helping startups scale globally. To help startups enter the China market, TechCode has a strategic partnership with CFLD, a leader in investment and operation of new industrial cities. CFLD integrates industry, university, research, government and finance resources in over 40 industrial new cities across the world.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley and servicing startups globally, Silicon Catalyst also offers silicon-focused startups opportunities to partner with leading industry players such as TSMC, Synopsys and Texas Instruments to provide guidance and connections throughout the semiconductor ecosystem. With the focus on developing an ecosystem that makes it feasible for semiconductor and electronic systems startups to thrive, the TechCode and Silicon Catalyst partnership will further allow participating startups to spur innovation in the semiconductor industry.

“TechCode’s extensive global reach will allow us to work with entrepreneurs around the world as the startup ecosystem rapidly expands beyond Silicon Valley,” said Silicon Catalyst CEO Rick Lazansky. “The TechCode worldwide presence provides an opportunity for global incubation at any of the TechCode’s international locations for Silicon Catalyst’s startups.”

To learn more about TechCode, visit http://us.techcode.com/ and to learn more about Silicon Catalyst, visit http://siliconcatalyst.com/.

About TechCode

Focusing on incubator operation management and technology startup cultivation, TechCode is committed to building the world's leading entrepreneurship ecosystem. Integrating a wide range of global resources, TechCode has established incubators in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guan, Silicon Valley, Seoul, Finland, Tel Aviv and Berlin to help get its startup members on their feet and grow rapidly.

About CFLD

CFLD (China Fortune Land Development Co, Ltd) integrates five resources: industry, university, research, government and finance in over 40 industrial new cities across the world. Depending on the layout of its business partner they pioneer an innovative technology chain including incubation—acceleration—industrialization—commercialization, providing full support to entrepreneurs from the “first step” to “every step” of entrepreneurship to the last mile.

[February 3, 2017] Tech.Co on Accelerators to Watch for in 2017

AUSTIN, TX--(TECH.CO - February 3, 2017) - TECH.CO names Silicon Catalyst and TechCode two of its Top Accelerators to Watch for in 2017

Conor Cawley - When it comes to success in the business world, startups get all the glory. Whether their innovative products have transformed a struggling industry or their fascinating new software has created a new means of doing business, startups are lorded as the heroes of innovation. But there’s a lot to be said about another institution that plays a big roll in the success of these burgeoning companies; an unsung hero that goes unappreciated when unicorns rise and fall: accelerators.

Accelerators are the ones that support and nurture startups from an early-stage. In addition to providing funding, they often house these startups in beautiful buildings with enough networking opportunities and mentoring experience to fuel their success in the long run.

With all the trends for 2017 getting set in stone, it’s important to know which accelerators are on the way up in the new year. Take a look at a few accelerators that are poised to make some noise in 2017:


Based out of San Jose, Silicon Catalyst is the world’s first incubator focused exclusively on semiconductor solution startups. A recipient of the prestigious UBM Canon Startup Company of the Year in 2015, Silicon Catalyst selects startups to incubate in conjunction with an ecosystem of in-kind partners, industry-leading companies, and potential investors.


Based out of Mountain View, California, TechCode’s accelerator helps startups from locations all over the world, rather than limiting them to one city. Additionally, the program has a unique focus on the applications of artificial intelligence technologies in a variety of industry verticals.

[January 14, 2017] Silicon Catalyst Development Partner Company Matrix Industries' Indiegogo Campaign Surpasses $1 Million

[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


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