We have stuck with a list of 20 companies, which feels about the right number in what is, nonetheless, a vibrant sector. Nine companies have been brought in to replace nine departures from last year’s list (see Analog, MEMS and sensor startups to follow in 2018).

The newcomers include companies active in MEMS and analog manufacturing, analog IP from digital EDA, touch, image, lidar and medical sensing.

Below are 20 startup companies we feel are worth keeping track of during 2019 listed in alphabetical order. New entries are highlighted with an italic entry.

Next: Cambridge to California and back

8power Ltd. (Cambridge, England), co-founded in January 2015 by Ashwin Seshia, professor of microsystems technology at the University of Cambridge and others, to exploit vibration energy harvesting based on parametric resonance which is harvested via MEMS technology.

(see Energy harvest startup appoints Ubisense founder to chair)


Advanced Hall Sensors Ltd. (Manchester, England) founded by Professor Mohammed Missous to exploit quantum-well Hall effect magnetic sensing in gallium arsenide. Company claims to have shipped 15 million sensors.

(see UK invests in quantum well, 2D magnetic sensors)


AerNos Inc. (San Diego, Calif.), founded in 2016, uses doped materials and nanotechnology to detect multiple airborne gases and volatile organic compounds simultaneously at parts per billion levels. The sensors include carbon nanotubes, nanowires and polymers.

(see Multi-gas sensor startup opens dev lab)


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

(see Adaptable off-the-shelf PMICs from AnDapt).


Cambridge Touch Technology Ltd. (Cambridge, England), founded in 2012, is a provider of 3D multipoint touch technologies to the consumer electronics, automotive, industrial and military markets. CTT supports its OEM and supply chain customers with IP, know-how, analog and digital technologies, and system architectures.

(see Cambridge touchscreen developer attracts Chinese cash)


Next: From China to Israel

CanSemi Technology Inc. (Guangzhou, China) broke ground on a 300mm wafer fab on December 26, 2017 with a plan for a billion-dollar fab in Guangzhou, China. The company is said to be pooling investments from fabless companies to provide funding with a built-in customer base. Richard Chang, the first CEO of China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), is said to be leading the project. The plant is expected to go into operation in 2019. When completed, the 7billion yuan (about US$1billion) plant will produce 40,000 12-inch wafer chips per month, with annual sales revenue estimated at 3 billion yuan rising to 10 billion yuan when at full capacity.

(see IDM or foundry: CanSemi builds on analog, MCU strategy)


Cista Systems Corp. (San Jose, Calif.), founded in 2013, has developed a number of CMOS image sensors making use of the Chinese foundry SMIC’s independently developed 0.13-micron BSI technology platform.

(See Image sensor startup teams with SMIC)


E-peas Semiconductors (Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium) has announced its first chip in energy management IC for use with photovoltaic and thermoelectric energy harvesting. The company was founded in 2014 with a vision to address Internet of Things applications on two fronts; by increasing harvested energy and by reducing the energy consumption of circuit blocks.

(See Fujitsu to distribute E-peas energy harvest ICs)


Hanking Electronics (Liaoning) Co. Ltd. (Shenyang, China), founded in April 2011, is a privately funded MEMS company and a subsidiary of the Hanking Industrial Group. Hanking Electronics focuses on developing, fabrication and marketing MEMS products and related electronics components. It provides customers with design and development, fabrication processing, volume manufacturing, MEMS foundry services, MEMS sensors, MEMS actuators, ASIC, MEMS technology and application consulting.

(see Hanking offers MEMS foundry services)


Innoviz Technologies Ltd. (Kfar Saba, Israel), a 2016 startup developing lidar sensors for autonomous vehicles, raised $9 million in a Series A financing round and then extended a Series B financing round to $73 million in October 2017. Backers include Samsung Catalyst and SoftBank Ventures Korea. The company was founded by former members of the Israeli Intelligence Corps. who went on to work for multiple startups and multinational corporations.

(see Samsung, SoftBank back lidar startup Innoviz)


Next: From Irvine to Neuchatel

Menlo Microsystems 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.

(see Menlo moves MEMS switch process to Silex foundry)


Movellus Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) has launched itself on the market with a focus on the use of digital design and verification tools to implement analog circuit functionality. The company was formed in April 2014. In May 2018 Movellus announced it had received an undisclosed amount of funding from Intel.

(see Intel doubles down on analog IP from digital tools)


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

(see Wireless power startup preps smartphone entry)


Prophesee AS (Paris, France), founded in 2014 as Chronocam, develops machine vision sensors based on asynchronous pixel sensor technology and biologically-inspired computer vision. 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. Prophesee has entered into a strategic relationship with Nissan-Renault Group.

(see Development board offered for event-based vision)


Senbiosys SA (Neuchatel, Switzerland), a 2017 spin-off from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), has developed a chip that can measure both heart rate, and oxygen level using both the photoplethysmography (PPG) and time-of-flight (ToF) signals. The chip also measures ambient light.

(see Swiss startup claims low power PPG plus ToF sensor)


Next: From Shanghai to San Diego

SmartSens Technology Co. Ltd. (Shanghai, China), founded in 2011, is a supplier of CMOS image sensors. It has R&D teams in Silicon Valley and Shanghai and an ISO-certified supply chain infrastructure to supply CMOS image sensors for security and surveillance, consumer, automotive and other mass market applications. The company signed a license agreement with IBM in 2018.

(see Sony, ST increase image sensor market share)


Thalia Design Automation Ltd. (Cwmbran, Wales), founded in 2011 by a former CAD engineering manager for Micrel, is developing EDA tools that use behavior algorithms from nature for the rapid optimization of analog and mixed-signal performance and power consumption. The company has developed the Amalia analog circuit design optimizer and the Emera power device design optimizer.

(see Thalia, Catena demo analog IP re-use)


Tikitin Ltd. (Espoo, Finland) is a 2016 spin off from Finnish research institute VTT that has raised €3 million (about $3.7 million), to support the launch of MEMS resonator technology. Tikitin claims to be the first company to introduce MEMS resonantors that can be driven by the same circuits as quartz and thereby allowing pin-compatible replacement. The MEMS-based technology makes use of the piezoelectric properties of aluminum-nitride.

(see MEMS resonator startup raises funds)


USound GmbH (Graz, Austria), formed in 2014, has developed a piezoelectric MEMS platform for the creation of MEMS microspeakers. The company has evolved into MEMS and more wide-ranging audio company having created referenced designs for earphones, 3D audio and sound systems for augmented and virtual reality headsets.

(see Arrays could extend MEMS speaker applications, says USound)


Wiliot Inc. (San Diego, Calif.) is a fabless semiconductor company formed by a group of engineers whose previous company, Wi-Fi pioneer Wilocity, was acquired by Qualcomm in 2014. Wiliot is setting out to develop a Bluetooth chip powered by energy harvested from radio waves and thereby passive SoC platforms for the IoT market. Founded in 2017.

(see Qualcomm, Merck back battery-free IoT startup)


Related links and articles:

Analog, MEMS and sensor startups to follow in 2018

Top 20 news articles on eeNews Analog in 2018

Analog, MEMS and sensor startups to follow in 2017

Top 20 news articles on eeNews Analog in 2017

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