November 16, 2018

SPARK Microsystems named to EETimes’ Silicon 60

Vanguard of the Machine Learning Revolution

by Peter Clarke

EE Times’ 19th revision of the Silicon 60, our annual list of startups to watch, documents the definitive rise of machine learning as a form of hardware-supported computing. The development atmosphere is feverish, and the technology market has the same air of dynamic, fast-paced change that it had when the first microprocessors launched in the 1970s.

Of course, the Silicon 60 is broader than machine learning. This year’s profiled startups are working on silicon and compound semiconductor manufacturing; conductive materials and metamaterials; analog and digital ICs and systems-on-chip (SoCs); memory; field-programmable gate array (FPGA) fabrics; gallium  nitride for power and lighting; energy harvesting; sub-threshold-voltage operation of ICs; signal-processing techniques; 5G communications for automobiles and the internet of things (IoT); LiDAR; wireless power transfer; environmental sensors; microelectromechanical system (MEMS) design and manufacturing; cloud-based EDA; organic LED and micro-LED displays; neural networks; and other architectures for machine learning, vision, and cognitive processing.

For the Silicon 60, we focus on companies that could have an impact on electronics engineers and technology managers in their professional lives, and that means we seek out companies that have one or both feet in the hardware camp. It is true that hardware companies increasingly must be “platform” providers of both hardware and software. But companies that are pure software or service plays — with the exception of EDA and hard- and soft-intellectual-property (IP) suppliers — are less likely to qualify for inclusion.

Spark Microsystems International Inc.* (Montreal) was launched in 2016 to work on a low-power radio for IoT with an order-of-magnitude-better energy efficiency and latency than Bluetooth Low Energy or Zigbee and supporting faster data rates. Applications include high-end audio distribution and hearing aids.

See the full list here.