Paul Jacobs joins Sanjay Jha investing in UWB pioneer

February 16, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Paul Jacobs joins Sanjay Jha investing in UWB pioneer
Low-power ultrawideband pioneer Spark Microsystems Inc. (Montreal, Canada) has raised CDN$17.5 million (about US$13.8 million) with support from both Paul Jacobs and Sanjay Jha

Jacobs is a former CEO and chairman at Qualcomm and Jha is a former COO at Qualcomm and former CEO at Globalfoundries.

The round was led by Cycle Capital and included ND Capital and Export Development Canada, as well as existing investor Real Ventures and private investors. The money would be used to fund high-volume manufacturing, sales ramp and expanded R&D for next generation products.

Spark has shipped tens of thousands of pre-production units of its SR1000 series of ultra-wide band (UWB) wireless transceiver ICs enabling a new class of short-range wireless connectivity applications including gaming peripherals and AR/VR headsets, smart home devices, and battery-less internet of things sensors.

The company said it has prototyped a next-generation wireless gaming hub with headset, mouse and keyboard in conjunction with a partner.

Frederic Nabki, co-founder and CTO of Spark, said they company is looking to expand from the 65nm RF CMOS manufacturing process used for the SR1000 series devices to a more advanced node, which would open the ability to add functionality and application-appropriate interfaces. The company is also engaging with standards body to support the development of the next-generation standard. "There are things we can offer to improve, power, bandwidth, latency while backwards compatible with the existing standard," Nabki told eeNews Europe. "We have started with IEEE on a next-generation UWB standard but it won't happen overnight. Meanwhile Bluetooth is trying to quench the challenge of UWB."

"We are excited by the rapid customer adoption of the Spark solution," said Jha in a statement issued by Spark. "The company engaged with multiple customers who will deploy millions of wireless devices in the coming years. Spark's technology significantly extends battery life for various Industrial IoT and consumer electronics including AR/VR, gaming and audio applications – enabling for new functionalities as well as improved performance."

Related links and articles:

www.sparkmicro.com

Spark radio white paper

News articles:

5G startup adds Qualcomm alumni Jacobs, Grob as advisors

Spark launches 1nJ/bit short-range, high bandwidth transceivers

Short-range radio startup appoints CEO

Backscatter radio range reaches 2.8km


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