Last month we highlighted some work by SuVolta, a startup in tech that is not involved with the web or social media, but rather is taking aim at the foundational technologies of computing. The small team has reportedly put together a new process for manufacturing transistors that reduces their power requirements dramatically, making the resultant chips especially good for devices like handsets and tablets.
They caught the eye of Fujitsu, which has helped them execute the technology, and now they’ve drawn a hefty second funding round, raising $17.6 million from new and old investors.
Their original funding was $22 million in 2010, and they came out of stealth mode in June of that year. The original investors were Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, August Capital and NEA; Bright Capital, Northgate Capital, DAG Ventures, and some others not mentioned have been added to the list.
Presumably the original investment funded the primary R&D, and this new cash will enable a bit more work in the production and promotion of the Powershrink technology. While they have a friend in Fujitsu, maintaining financial independence ensures they won’t be preyed upon later on in the process when, inevitably, various semiconductor companies begin to sniff about Suvolta with money in their eyes.
Suvolta’s press release calls to attention the fact that investment in semiconductor tech is diminishing. It’s hardly a surprise when the price of entry is so high; Intel and AMD spend freely and upstarts are not tolerated. Only a very unique product like Suvolta’s has a chance of surviving, and even then it has taken nearly $40 million to do so. But investment in technical areas like this and the nurturing of ideas that didn’t come from the labs of the market leader are an important and potentially very profitable venture. We’ll continue to monitor Suvolta’s progress in the space.
SuVolta, Inc. develops and licenses CMOS semiconductor technologies that significantly reduce the power consumption of integrated circuits (ICs). Excessive power consumption is generally regarded as the biggest challenge in semiconductors today, affecting all product categories – from high-performance servers to mobile phones to portable consumer electronics. The PowerShrink™ platform enables semiconductor companies to cut chip power in half without sacrificing performance, losing functionality, or having to migrate to more advanced – and costly – semiconductor process node.