5G MEMS antenna startup raises £2.3m

5G MEMS antenna startup raises £2.3m

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Sofant uses radio frequency microelectromechanical systems for its proprietary, highly efficient MEMS antenna platform that addresses several challenges facing wireless communication systems. It is initially targeting applications in satellite communications and 5G where the MEMS antenna technology reduces the power consumption of electronically scanned antenna arrays by more than 70 percent.

The company plans to use the £2.3m funding to integrate leading edge RF MEMS technology into a 1st-generation product, accelerate system integration with satellite network operators, and to capitalise on leading OEM collaboration interest.

The funding comes from existing investor EMV Capital alongside Kelvin Capital Ltd, Old College Capital, Wealth Club and Scottish Investment Bank. This brings the total backing to $13.2m.

“We are very pleased to have supportive investors who understand the value of semiconductor-based hardware,” said David Wither, CEO of Sofant. “This funding will be used to complete the development of our core RF technology platform. It will also support our activities with an ecosystem of corporate partners who share Sofant’s belief that RF MEMS will disrupt the market for high frequency SatCom and 5G antenna applications. It is a very exciting time for Sofant, and we look forward to working with our partners to change the way high frequency antenna systems are designed and built.”

“We are delighted to continue supporting our portfolio company, Sofant, which has made great progress with their disruptive technology in an exciting market. Reliable and fast connectivity has never been more important for our society—which has only become clearer in response to the impact of Covid-19. Sofant are well positioned to build on their development and growth to provide a key enabling technology for this future,” said Dr. Ilian Iliev, Managing Director of EMV Capital.

The RF MEMS is used for a low power phased array antenna for millimetre wave bands alongside a custom controller. The company is working with design house GarField/Matrics to cut the antenna and controller cost by half. It is also developing a Ka band antenna with the European Space Agency for satellite communications systems.

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