eoSemi in the UK has raised £2m to accelerate the delivery of its digital oscillators to customers and changed chief executive.
The funding will be used to complete its proprietary, low cost, automated test system to calibrate its temperature controlled crystal oscillators (TCXOs) in volume and begin the commercialisation of its digitally compensated devices.
The Series A round was led by Belgian Venture Capital Investor Capital-E with substantial contributions from other existing UK investors who include Maven Capital Partners, NESTA Investments and Enterprise Ventures. eoSemi, based in Cheshire, says it has raised more than £6m ($8m) from venture investors since 2016 having started in 2012.
Steve Cliffe, a director at eoSemi since leaving Ultraleap, is cited as CEO in the funding announcement.
Historically TCXO and OCXO products have used curve-fitting analog circuitry based on extremely mature 0.35um BiCMOS technologies. However these are larger, more power hungry and expensive devices than the 65nm pure CMOS process used by eoSemi to implement a low power, low cost digital controller.
Moving to CMOS is only part of the challenge, as the test requirements are very different. While the quartz crystal, ceramic package and silicon controller will be assembled by an established TCXO manufacturer, the cost of testing and characterising fully assembled high performance TCXOs is almost equivalent to the combined cost of the individual components and assembly.
“A combination of the silicon technology, careful design, digital compensation schemes and calibration ensures world beating performance” said Cliffe.
“Specifically; industry leading phase noise of 162dBc/Hz, power consumption of 3.6mW, ultra-tight stability of better than 50ppb: with this performance available right across an extended temperature range of -40oC to +105oC, and in a 2520 package or smaller. All of these parameters have been achieved before, but never all at the same time and never at this cost,” he said.