AMD buys 60GHz startup for VR potential

April 14, 2017 //By Peter Clarke
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) has acquired 60GHz CMOS pioneer Nitero Inc. (Austin, Texas) for an undisclosed amount of money.

Nitero was founded in 2011 to commercialize 60GHz communications research conducted at Australian research institute NICTA and the University of Melbourne. The company has been turning its technology to the providing wireless connectivity for high data throughput applications such as virtual reality headsets.

Nitero's beamforming millimeter wave chip has the ability to transmit multi-gigabits of data per second with low latency in room-scale VR environments. The beamforming characteristics solve the requirement for line-of-sight associated with traditional high-frequency mm-wave systems.

Nitero is known to have raised about $5 million in a couple of rounds of funding in 2011 and 2012 but according to a report computer game company Valve Corp. invested a significant amount of money in Nitero prior to AMD's acquisition.

"Unwieldly headset cables remain a significant barrier to drive widespread adoption of VR," said Mark Papermaster, AMD chief technology officer, in a statement. Nitero co-founder and CEO Pat Kelly has joined AMD as corporate vice president, wireless IP.

Another company working with 60GHz for short-range communications is Keyssa, although in Keyssa's case its technology is being engineered as a connector replacement.

Keyssa was founded in 2009 as Waveconnex and has raised more than $47 million from Intel and Samsung amongst others and was using the money to develop a wireless 'connector' that transmits data at up to 6-Gbits per second.

Related links and articles:

www.amd.com

www.keyssa.com

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