Analog, MEMS and sensor startups to follow in 2017

Analog, MEMS and sensor startups to follow in 2017
Feature articles |
We have revamped our list of analog, MEMS and sensor startups to follow. For 2017 we've kept the length of the list at 16 companies although the number of candidate startups seems to be increasing.
By Peter Clarke

Share:

Newcomers to our list include companies active in hyperspectral imaging, RF sensing, MEMS for audio and video, configurable power and wireless charging.

What follows are 16 recently-formed private companies we feel are worth keeping track of in 2016 listed in alphabetical order.

Next: From California to Changchun


AnDapt Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) – a fabless company founded in 2014 – has launched a range of configurable ICs that combine power MOSFETs, analog and digital circuitry and that can be used to create a wide variety of power circuits www.andapt.com

(see Startup launches configurable power management ICs).

Aspinity Inc. (Morgantown, West Virginia) founded in June 2012 by Vinod Kulathumani an associate professor at West Virginia University, is developing reconfigurable analog signal processing circuits as ICs and IP. By extracting application-relevant characteristics prior to digitizing sensor data, Aspinity claims it can reduce the overall power and cost required in applications such as voice control, health monitoring, and industrial vibration monitoring. www.aspinity.com

Chirp Microsystems Inc. (Berkeley, Calif.) was founded in 2013 to commercialize a low-power ultrasonic gesture recognition technology intended for use in mobile and wearable devices. Developed by a team of researchers from BSAC (Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center) and SwarmLAB at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, Chirp uses MEMS ultrasound transducers to detect and track a user’s gestures in 3D space. www.chirpmicro.com

Chronocam AS (Paris, France), founded in 2014, develops machine vision sensors based on asynchronous pixel sensor technology. Such systems can be optimized for low power, high dynamic range and low data rate rather than for resolution and a superior human-viewable image. www.chronocam.com

(See Eye-catching Chronocam grabs $15 million Series B)

Gpixel Inc. (Changchun, China) develops high-end CMOS image sensor solutions for industrial, medical and scientific applications. Founded in 2012, the company produces standard off-the-shelf image sensors, as well as customer-designed products. In 2014 Gpixel worked with foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. to produce a record-setting 150-Mpixel full-frame CMOS image sensor. www.gpixelinc.com

(See Gpixel expands image sensor line up).

Next: From Paris to Israel


Intento Design SA (Paris, France), an EDA company founded in spring 2015 by Farakh Javid, chief technology officer, provides analog and mixed-signal circuits as IP that can automatically scaled for performance and migrated between manufacturing processes. www.intento-design.com

MEMS Drive Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.), founded in 2014, develops, manufactures and markets MEMS actuators with a particular target application in mobile imaging where its fast responding devices can be used for optical image stabilization (OIS) for smartphone cameras. In 2016 the company raised $11 million in a Series B funding round led by Walden International. www.memsdrive.com

(see Walden backs MEMS actuator startup).

Menlo Micro Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) was formed in 2016 to bring General Electric’s power handling MEMS microswitch technology to market. The ability to handle up to kilowatts of power enables applications in battery management, home-automation, electric vehicles, medical instrumentation, and wireless base stations, the company claims. www.menlomicro.com

(See GE spins out MEMS startup: wants cheaper power switches).

NextInput Inc. (San Jose, Calif.), founded in 2012, is a spin-off from Georgia Institute of Technology to commercialize a pressure-sensitive method of interfacing with electronics devices. It works with multiple sensors placed under a display surface and offers a better solution than capacitive touch, the company claims. The company gained a CEO and a substantial Series A round of funding in 2015. www.nextinput.com

(See China’s GoerTek, Intel back force-sensor startup)

NuVolta Technologies Inc. (Milpitas, CA), a wireless power chip company startup that already has a number of successful chip designs under its belt, is now working with smartphone companies for the launch of custom chips in 2017. The company was founded in 2014 by a team of six engineers, of which many came from Texas Instruments. www.nuvoltatech.com

(See Wireless power startup preps smartphone entry).

Sensifree Ltd. (Petah-Tikva, Israel and Cupertino, Calif.) is a developer of an RF-based low power biomedical sensor, The RF sensor detects movement in the arterial wall to detect pulse and blood volume and can collect a range of continuous biometric data without the need to touch the human body. Sensifree was founded in 2012 and completed a $5 million round of Series A financing in 2016. www.sensifree.com

(See Biometric sensor startup raises $5 million).

Next: From Israel to Boston


Sol Chip Ltd. (Haifa, Israel), founded in 2009, has developed a chip scale photovoltaic energy harvester which can provide voltages at between 0.75V and 9V useful for autonomous low-power electronic systems. The PV cell can produce 3.3-milliwatts in full daylight and up to 20-microwatts under office lighting. www.sol-chip.com

(See Solar-powered wireless tag works in the fields)

Telink Semiconductor Co. Ltd. (Shanghai, China) – founded in 2010 – is a fabless chip company that focuses on RF and mixed-signal circuits for IoT and smart home applications. The company received venture capital backing from Intel in 2015. www.telink-semi.com

(See China’s Telink partners with Ixys for IoT)

Unispectral Ltd. (Ramat Gan, Israel) is a company founded in 2016 to commercialize image sensor technology developed at Tel Aviv University. It’s hyperspectral technology can distinguish material properties in solids, liquids and gases and allows spectrometric analysis of materials such as food stuffs and can also capture images in low-light. Jerusalem Venture Partners  (JVP), Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC), Samsung Catalyst Fund and The Tel Aviv University Technology Innovation Momentum Fund contributed to a $7.5 million Series A round of funding in 2016. www.unispectral.com

(See Hyperspectral startup raises $7.5 million).

USound GmbH (Graz, Austria), formed in 2014, has developed a piezoelectric MEMS platform for the creation of MEMS microspeakers. The intent is get this micro-speakers designed on to smartphone motherboards and in next-generation in-ear headphones. www.usound.com

(See Austria hosts MEMS speaker startup).

Vesper Technologies Inc. (Boston, Mass), founded in 2009, is a developer of piezoelectric MEMS microphones. The company closed a Series A round of funding of $15 million in 2016. Investors included Amazon’s Alexa Fund and AAC Technologies a microphone vendor based in Shenzhen, China. Earlier in 2016 Vesper announced a partnership with AAC to commercialize piezoelectric MEMS microphones for consumer products such as smartphones. www.vespermems.com

(See Vesper, AAC partner to push piezoelectric MEMS microphones)

Related links and articles:

EE Times Silicon 60: 2016’s Emerging Companies to Watch

16 analog, MEMS and sensor startups to follow in 2016

Top 10 blogs on analog, MEMS and sensors in 2016

The top 20 news articles on analog, MEMS and sensors in 2016

15-in-15: Analog, MEMS and sensor startups to watch in 2015

Linked Articles
eeNews Analog
10s