Black Semi raises €250 million for graphene pilot wafer fab

Black Semi raises €250 million for graphene pilot wafer fab

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Black Semiconductor GmbH (Aachen, Germany), a 2020 startup that develops graphene-based photonic interfaces, has secured €254.4 million to fund the launch of its technology.

The German federal government and the State of North-Rhine-Westphalia are making a huge bet on Black by committing €228.7 million in funding.

The company has also secured €25.7 million in equity funding. This was led Porsche Ventures and Project A Ventures, with participation from Scania Growth, Capnamic, Tech Vision Fonds, NRW.BANK, joining seed round investors Vsquared Ventures, Cambium Capital, and Hermann Hauser’s Onsight Ventures.

Black Semi is developing a ‘back-end-of-line’ photonics manufacturing process that supports on-chip optical signal routing and fiber-to-chip interfaces for chip-to-chip connections. The technology supports bidirectional electro-optic conversion with data transmission rates of up to10Pbits/s possible, the company claims. At the same time the technology is compatible with CMOS ‘front-end of line’ manufacturing, the firm states.

With the funding, Black Semiconductor is positioning itself to be the first company to begin high volume production of chips based on graphene. However, the company is giving itself plenty of time to develop its technology. The company said that with this funding it expects to realize mass production by 2031.

Black Semi said it would use the latest funding to accelerate R&D and to establish a pilot line wafer fab in Aachen, Germany, in 2026. Additionally, Black Semiconductor aims to increase its headcount, planning to create 90 engineering jobs, boosting its total workforce from 30 to 120 by 2026.

Founded in 2020 by Dr. Daniel Schall and Sebastian Schall. Optical chip-to-chip networks –  such as those found in data centers – will have faster communications with improved energy efficiency.

The company claims its technology will be transformative across generative and embedded AI, and autonomous driving.

Daniel Schall, co-founder and CEO of Black Semiconductor, said: “The investment enables us to drive our product development and 300 mm wafer pilot production facility forward at full speed.”

Related links and articles:

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Intel, Hermann Hauser, Google investor back Black Semiconductor

HP, Nvidia back Ayar Labs’ $130 million Series C

First terabit optical link for chip-to-chip connections

GloFo teams for 300mm wafer photonics

UK blocks Chinese takeover of Welsh graphene maker


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