Over that time the global economic situation has moved sideways with the United States enjoying growth but Europe and Japan generally failing to gain momentum. Meanwhile concerns about declining growth in China, which has served as an engine of the global economy, has turned into a downward slides on China’s stock exchanges, which has in turn given rise to volatility in stock indices worldwide.

Entrepreneurs are not usually daunted by such comings and goings and have continued to form startup companies in the years since the crash of 2008 and some of these have or could soon enter the market.

EE Times has selected 30 of these recently-formed companies to come on to version 16.1 of its list of 60 firms that we feel are worth keeping an eye on. It may well be that these privately-held startups will be less affected than listed companies by economic turmoil in the short term and even benefit from lower interest rates and materials costs. But of course in the medium-to-longer term we all seek growth markets in which to sell our goods and services.

EE Times has been updating and publishing the Silicon 60 since April 2004 to reflect the latest corporate, commercial, technology and market conditions. The latest batch of newcomers include companies active in the fields of materials, IP cores, processors, FPGAs, neuromorphic computing, wireless for location, communications and connectivity, MEMS and image sensors and the Internet of Things.

To make way for the newcomers, 30 companies have dropped off the list. A few of those were acquired while others simply become mature with the passage of time. Those more mature companies, while no longer listed on the Silicon 60, may yet fulfil an investors’ dream of moving to public ownership or going through a high-priced company sale.

The selection of the 60 companies in Silicon 60 v16.1 has been based on consideration of a mix of criteria including: technology, intended market, financial position, investment profile, maturity and executive leadership. They are emerging companies to follow – for a variety of reasons. The names of the companies brought on to the Silicon 60 at this iteration are highlighted in red in the listing below.

Readers are welcome to nominate their own emerging privately held companies for inclusion in a future iteration of the Silicon 60 list. Nominations should be supported by a short citation providing basic details about the company and explaining why the company is suitable for inclusion on the list. Send to or


Aledia SA (Grenoble, France), has developed a method of forming light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on vertical pillars of gallium-nitride grown on silicon wafers. The company span out of CEA-Leti in 2011 and claims the technique produces three times more light per planar area than conventional approaches while using less GaN material. In the last year the company has received backing from automotive supplier Valeo and furnishings supplier Ikea.

Allwinner Technology Co. Ltd. (Zhuhai, China) is a fabless chip company founded in 2007 and developing application processor SoCs and analog ICs for mobile equipment, automotive and television. 

Ambiq Micro Inc. (Austin, Texas) founded in 2010, is a fabless chip company developing low power microcontrollers and mixed-signal systems that operate at sub-threshold voltages. Investors include ARM Holdings and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.


Anacode Labs Inc. (Aptos, Calif.), founded in 2015 by signal compression expert Al Wegener, has a mission to provide compression hardware and software under an IP licensing business model for use in data storage and communications applications. Wegener had previous founded and exited Samplify Systems.

Analog Computing Solutions Inc. (Bloomington, Indiana), founded in 2013, is developing a neural network IC that monitors sensor data for key events and thereby allow microcontrollers to stay in sleep mode for longer.

Arctic Sand Technologies Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.), founded in 2010 as an MIT spin-off, is working on power conversion circuits for high-efficiency power management applications. It has developed power conversion chips using switched-capacitor techniques that are 10 times smaller and 75 percent more efficient that traditional conversion systems, according to investor Arsenal Venture Partners. Strategic investors include Dialog Semiconductor plc and Energy Technology Ventures.

Autotalks Ltd. (Kfar Netter, Israel), a fabless startup founded in 2008, has developed chipset and software that combine signal processing, security and positioning information to create vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications for automotive OEMs and their suppliers.

Aviacomm Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.), founded in 2009 by RFIC experts, bringing to market transceivers that address a variety of radio protocols and architectures, including TVWS, 4G/LTE, 3G, 2G, cognitive radio, software-defined radios, and wireless communication devices for dynamic spectrum allocation.

Baikal Electronics JSC (Moscow, Russia), founded in 2012 is a fabless semiconductor company specializing in ARM- and MIPS-based processors and systems on a chip (SoC). The Baikal family of multicore processors includes SoCs for desktops and industrial computers with various levels of performance and functionality. The company is backed by Russian supercomputer firm T-Platforms and sovereign investment fund Rusnano.

Blue Danube Systems Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.), founded in May 2013, is a fabless chip company that reckons it can boost the capacity of LTE wireless communications by supporting more sectors around a basestation. The company has raised about $23 million and the CEO is Mark Pinto a former vice president and fellow of Bell Labs and executive vice president of Applied Materials.

Brite Semiconductor (Shanghai) Corp. (Shanghai, China) was founded in 2008 and is located at Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park. It is an SoC and ASIC design company that pulls together intellectual property, foundry, test and packaging technologies to create custom silicon for its customers. Brite is backed by local foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.

Cambridge CMOS Sensor Ltd. (Cambridge, England) was set up in 2008 to form a hot plate metal oxide (MOX) based sensor that reacts with various gas molecules. The company came to market with the CCS800 product family using standard CMOS technology. Despite the use of heaters the technology is claimed to have low power consumption and fast response time. To this can be added embedded intelligence through CMOS compatibility. Applications may be found in health and well-being, ambient air quality monitoring and breath analysis, in smartphones, tablets, wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Chirp Microsystems Inc. (Albany, Calif.) was founded in 2013 to commercialize a low-power ultrasonic gesture recognition technology intended for use in mobile and wearable devices. Developed by a team of researchers from BSAC (Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center) and SwarmLAB at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, Chirp uses MEMS ultrasound transducers to detect and track a user’s gestures in 3D space 

Credo Semiconductor Inc. (Milpitas, Calif.) is a self-funded private fabless company founded in 2008 by three engineering veterans that had worked in Silicon Valley. Credo is focused on high-speed mixed-signal ICs and IP targeting the data center and enterprise networking markets.  The company’s SerDes include designs that have been implemented in 28nm and 16nm FinFET processes.

Cricket Semiconductor Pvt. Ltd. (Bengaluru, India), founded in 2014, aims to establish India’s first high-volume, globally competitive production wafer fab focused on analog and power technologies. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the state of Madhya Pradesh and has plans to locate the fab on an industrial park on the outskirts of the city of Indore.

Crossbar Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) is a 2010 spin-off from University of Michigan that has developed a resistive random access memory (ReRAM) based on the movement of silver ions through amorphous silicon to form a filamentary structure. The company is aiming to produce multi-layered stand-alone terabyte memory die as well as integrating the technology in standard CMOS logic to provide embedded non-volatile memory.

Dyna Image Corp. (New Taipei City, Taiwan) formed as a spin off from Lite-On Semiconductor in 2013. Develops and sells optical and inertial sensors, hybrid sensors and sensor fusion software.

Flex Logix Technologies Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) is a startup founded to bring a field-programmable gate array architecture to market as a licensable fabric for inclusion in system chips. Founded in March 2014 and supported by Lux Capital soon afterward.




GaN Systems Inc. (Ottawa, Canada), founded in 2008, is a fabless semiconductor manufacturer that uses a patented “island” design topology to create gallium-nitride power switches, diodes and subsystems for power conversion and control applications including renewable energy generation, power storage and distribution, electric vehicles, industrial motors and generators, power supplies, and point-of-load devices.

Geo Semiconductor Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) founded in 2009, is a fabless semiconductor company that designs video and geometry processing integrated circuits (ICs). Its chips have found use in consumer displays and projection systems and the company is moving into automotive and security applications.

Gowin Semiconductor Corp. (Foshan, Guangdong, China), was founded in 2013 to develop FPGAs and is backed by Chinese investors. The Series A round target was to raise 500 million RMB (about US$82 million). The R&D team is based in Shanghai, Jinan and Foshan. The company has launched two families of FPGAs, one being non-volatile. Gowin has a wholly-owned subsidiary, Melody Semiconductor LLC, in Silicon Valley whose main tasks are market research, customer project management and consulting.

Gpixel Inc. (Changchun, China) develops high-end CMOS image sensor solutions for industrial, medical and scientific applications. Founded in 2012, the company produces standard off-the-shelf image sensors, as well as customer-designed products. In 2014 Gpixel worked with foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. to produce a record-setting 150-Mpixel full-frame CMOS image sensor. 

Ineda Systems Pvt. Ltd. (Hyderabad, India), a fabless chip company founded in 2010, is developing MIPS-architecture wearable and IoT processors and has announced funding by Samsung, Qualcomm and Imagination Technologies Group plc amongst others. In the last year the company has added Cisco Systems to its list of investors and a design win in Samsung’s Artik-1 board intended for use in sensor hubs and wireless beacons.

Intrinsic-ID BV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) was founded in 2008 as a spin-off from Royal Philips Electronics and provides hardware-intrinsic security technology – also referred to as a Physical Unclonable Function. The technology derives cryptographic keys based on the specific silicon implementation and how that affects nominally metastable structures, which could be considered a silicon fingerprint. Security is enhanced as no key is stored and there is nothing to find in the power-down state.

InVisage Technologies Inc. (Menlo Park, Calif.) is a fabless semiconductor company developing QuantumFilm, an imaging-sensing technology that it claims has superior performance to silicon. Its first product enables high-resolution images from handheld devices such as camera phones and PDAs. Founded in 2006, in 2015, InVisage opened its first high-volume manufacturing facility, QFAB3, in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Kaiam Corp. (Newark, Calif.), founded in 2008, develops, manufactures, and markets planar lightwave circuits, optical subassemblies, modules, and transceivers for various applications in the fiber optics communications industry. The focus of the company is photonic integrated circuits using hybrid optical integration for dense multi-lane interconnects. The company has a manufacturing facility in Livingston, Scotland.

Kateeva Inc. (Newark, Calif.), a 2008 startup founded to manufacture and supply production equipment for organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, is developing an inkjet-based printing method to allow the mass production of large-scale, flexible OLED displays that will also be low-cost the company claims. The firm is backed by investors that include: Applied Materials, DBL Investors, Madrone Capital Partners, Musea Ventures, New Science Ventures, Sigma Partners, Spark Capital, and Veeco.

Keyssa Inc. (Campbell, Calif.) has raised $47 million from Intel, Samsung and others to develop a wireless ‘connector’ that transmits data at up to 6Gbits per second. The interconnect technology is called “Kiss Connectivity” and it uses 60GHz wireless transceiver modules in close proximity to transmit data at up to 6-Gbits per second. Gary McCormack, who serves the company as CTO, co-founded the company as Waveconnex Inc. in 2009.

MagnaCom Ltd. (Petach-Tikvah, Israel), founded in 2012, has developed and patented a modulation technology called WAM, standing for wave modulation that is claimed to be superior to incumbent technologies such as QAM and able to double spectrum bandwidth efficiency.

mCube Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) was founded in September 2009 and has developed a method for integrating MEMS motion sensors above electronic circuitry in a standard CMOS wafer fab using through-silicon via connections. The process includes hermetic sealing of the assembly. The company claims that this provides an advantage in terms of sensor size that will help it with applications in wearable equipment and the Internet of things.

Mill Computing Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) – The idea of the “belt” processor has been in development for more than 10 years as a clean-sheet rethink of the general-purpose CPU architecture. Ivan Godard and team have developed a processor architecture called Mill that is also configurable with specification-driven instantiations called Gold, Silver, Copper and Tin.

MEMSensing Microsystems Technology Co. Ltd. (Suzhou, China) founded in September 2007 is a supplier of cost-effective silicon acoustic components for mobile phone, palmtop computer, digital camera, high-end hearing aid, and microphone. The company also provides MEMS pressure sensors.

NeuroMem Inc. (Petaluma, Calif.) founded in October 2014 develops, markets and licenses neuromorphic circuits and sells chips, boards and development tools for pattern recognition and classification applications. Company is spin-off from General Vision Inc., developer of the CM1K neural network IC and the same technology is present in the Quark SE processor from Intel.

Nextinput Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia) founded in 2012 as a spin-off from Georgia Tech to commercialize a force-sensitive touch technology developed by CEO and co-founder Ian Campbell. The company claims it can provide a tactile, force or pressure sensitive method of interfacing with virtually any electronic device. Steve Nasiri, founder of InvenSense, is on the board of directors, and Kurt Petersen serves on a technical advisory board.


Nitero Inc. (Austin, Texas) is a fabless semiconductor company developing high performance, low power 60GHz CMOS solutions.  The technology builds on CMOS mm-wave research conducted by NICTA and the University of Melbourne from 2004 until Nitero’s founding in 2011.

Omniradar NV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) has buildt a radar IC, where the complete radar including antenna’s and analog-to-digital conversion are integrated on one piece of silicon for the 60GHz frequency band.  The company was founded in 2011 and has been working with NXP Semiconductor. 

PsiKick Inc. (Charlottesville, Virginia) has developed a wireless sensor networking SoC using an operating voltage down to 0.25V. PsiKick was launched in 2012 based on the work of Benton Calhoun and David Wentzloff conducted at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan in low-power digital and analog circuit design.

Qualtré Inc. (Marlborough, Mass), founded in 2008, is a venture-backed company commercializing solid-state silicon motion sensors for consumer electronics based on a proprietary, multi-axis bulk acoustic wave MEMS gyroscope technology. Qualtré has raised $36 million to date from an investor syndicate comprised of Matrix Partners, Pilot House Ventures, Eastward Capital and a strategic investor.

Quantenna Communications Inc. (Fremont, Calif.), founded in 2006, claims to be the first company to introduce a commercially available, standards-based 802.11ac and 802.11n 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) chipset.  The technology is being used to support whole home, full HD video distribution and networking services over standard Wi-Fi networks. Quantenna has developed a 10Gbps architecture for multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO). 

Quantum Materials Corp. (San Marcos, Texas), founded in 2008 is a manufacturer of quantum dot materials and in particular of non heavy metal quantum dots for use in liquid crystal displays and other applications.

QST (Shanghai, China), founded in 2012, otherwise known as Shanghai Quality Sensor Technology Corp. Ltd. has two eCompass products; the QMC5983 and the QMC6983. Basd on a licensing of Honeywell’s anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) sensor technology and is also working on gyroscopes.

Saigon Semiconductor Technology Inc. (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) designs and manufactures RF, microwave and millimeter-wave semiconductors and offers gallium arsenide foundry services. Founded in 2014 SSTI is building a wafer fab to house equipment acquired from Universal Semiconductor Technology Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.).

Senodia Technologies Co. Ltd. (Shanghai, China), founded in August 2008, was one of the first Chinese MEMS gyroscope providers and has expanded its offering to a full suite of inertial MEMS 6-axis and 9-axis solutions and applications for smart phones. 

Sckipio Technologies Ltd. (Ramat Gan, Israel), founded in 2012, announced a G.Fast modem chipset in October 2014. Sckipio claims to be the first company to deliver modems and that 20 percent of the standard came from Sckipio technical contributions.

SigFox Wireless SAS (Toulouse, France) founded in 2009 is the developer and operator of a cellular network in France dedicated to low-throughput machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things. It makes use of ultranarrow band radio technology and licenses operators in other countries including the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Siliconarts Inc. (Seoul, Korea), established in April 2010, is a provider of real-time ray tracing GPU technology. The company has designed and introduced the RayCore 1000 and RayCore2000 GPU cores for mobile and embedded operations.

Softkinetic SA (Brussels, Belgium) founded in 2007 is a developer of sensor-to-software 3D gesture recognition systems. It has licensed its platform to Texas Instruments Inc. and Melexis SA.

Soft Machines Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) was founded in 2006, has raised over $125 million and grown into a 250-person semiconductor startup with operations in the US, India and Russia. Soft Machines is in the business of licensing and codeveloping VISC architecture-based microprocessor and SoC products for IoT, mobile and cloud markets. Investors include Samsung Ventures, AMD, Mubadala, RVC, KACST, Rusnano, Taqnia.

Solantro Semiconductor Corp. (Ottawa Canada) develops chipsets and reference designs for module integrated electronics within distributed photovoltaic systems. Founded in 2009,

Sol Chip Ltd. (Haifa, Israel), founded in 2009, has developed a chip scale photovoltaic energy harvester which can provide voltages at between 0.75V and 9V useful for autonomous low-power electronic systems. The PV cell can produce 3.3-milliwatts in full daylight and up to 20-microwatts under office lighting.

Standing Egg Co. Ltd. (Seoul, Korea) was founded in May 2013 and develops MEMS sensor products including accelerometers, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, and others.

StoreDot Ltd. (Ramat Gan, Israel) was founded in 2011 to develop products and technology around peptide–based organic quantum dot materials. These nanometer-scale crystals have physical dimensions so small that quantum mechanics affect the electro-optic properties. The materials are tunable and the range of behaviors is wide, offering potential applications in displays, non-volatile memories, image sensors and batteries.

SureCore Ltd. (Sheffield, England) SureCore is a 2011 spin-off from Glasgow University and is working on memory IP at 28nm and smaller critical dimensions in FinFET and FDSOI processes alongside simulation firm Gold Standard Simulations Ltd.

TeraDeep Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) founded in December 2013 as spin off from Purdue University to focus on the design of mobile coprocessors and neural network hardware for the understanding of images and videos. 

TriLumina Corp. (Albuquerque, New Mexico) was founded in 2010 to develop semiconductor lasers. It has developed technology capable of powering and synchronizing multiple lasers. Expected applications for Light Engine technology include LIDAR for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), natural user interfaces and free-space optical communications.  

Vesper Technologies Inc. (Boston, Mass.), previously called Baker-Calling and Sonify, is a University of Michigan startup founded in July 2009 to develop piezoelectric MEMS microphones and bring superior microphones to handheld devices. The company claims its piezoelectric MEMS sensing is to be able to reduce the noise-floor compared with conventional capacitive sensing technology.

V-Nova Ltd. (London, England) founded in 2011 by Guido Meardi (CEO), Luca Rossato (chief scientist), Eric Achtmann (executive chairman) and Pierdavide Marcolongo (angel investor), to create a superior video codec. Perseus is the result and is being developed in an open innovation model with a business consortium that includes Broadcom, Encompass, Intel, Hitachi and Sky Italia.

Wavelens SA (Grenoble, France) is a CEA-Leti spinoff that was launched in November 2012. The company focuses on developing MEMS optical systems to integrate such autofocus, image stabilization and zoom.

WiTricity Corp. (Watertown, Mass.) was founded in 2007 to commercialize technology developed by company founder Professor Marin Soljacic to enablewireless power transfer over distance using magnetic resonance in line with the A4WP Rezence specification. It is licensing its technology for use in consumer electronics, automotive, medical devices and defense.

Xingtera (Shanghai, China), established in 2010 is a fabless chip company focused on developing ICs for four markets: home networking, IP camera connectivity, network infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT). Xingtera has been developing ITU-T any-wire modem ICs and advocates plus low power WiFi integrated solution as the home network of choice worldwide.

Last year’s Silicon 60 and commentary:

EE Times Silicon 60: Hot Startups to Watch

Silicon 60 Reveals Shifts in Technology Focus




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