Chip done, says all-day AR headset startup

Chip done, says all-day AR headset startup

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Augmented reality headset startup Ixana has said it has raised US$3 million in seed funding and that it will demonstrate hardware based on a proprietary chip at CES in January.

The funding round is backed by Uncorrelated Ventures, Samsung Next, Evonexus, Paradigm Shift and Hack VC.

The wearable wireless headset includes a 5-megapixel always-on camera, weighs 3 ounces and supports “real-time AI” processing, according to the company’s website.

The company claims its custom YR11 chip provides a 100x performance improvement in energy efficiency compared with the state of the art and is “product-ready.”

Ixana told eeNews Europe that the company’s ASIC that has been made for it by foundry TSMC. Getting a leading-edge digital design completed and through a foundry can cost up to US$100 million or more. Ixana said that although it had funds at launch the sum was considerably less than US$100 million.

“Ixana is challenging these wearable hardware limitations with a breakthrough silicon chip that makes high-speed human-computer interfaces such as all-day wearable AR possible,” said Shreyas Sen, Ixana’s CTO and an associate professor at Purdue University. “Leveraging wire-free distributed computing, our low-power AR headset lasts a full day on a single charge, even with an always-on front-facing camera that can detect what you are seeing, analyze it, and provide feedback in real-time.”

The company was co-founded by Sen with Angik Sarkar, CEO, and Shovan Maity, head of research. Sarkar was a software engineer for Intel before he founded Waylo, an online hotel booking platform, which was then sold to eDreams for an unspecified amount of money. Maity spent time as an analog design engineer at Intel before joining Qualcomm and working on power management for mobile SoCs.

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