Which ones do you think will make the big breakthrough to become a giant in ‘power’? Which ones will be snapped up by a bigger fish in the pool like the Energy Micro was acquired by Silicon Labs during 2013? Will any of them flounder or ‘crash and burn’ in 2014?
Here are ten private companies worth tracking in 2014 listed in alphabetical order:
ActLight SA (Lausanne, Switzerland) founded in 2011 is focusing in the field of CMOS photonics by developing new type photodetectors and improving photovoltaic energy harvesting technology. The Swiss company offers on-chip energy harvesting solutions for small CMOS integrated photovoltaic cells.
Visit ActLight at act-light.com/smart_solar/
Amantys based in Cambridge, UK was established by former ARM executives in 2010 as a privately-funded power electronics company, the vision of the company is to transform the design, implementation and control of power electronic systems.
The products the company is developing deliver a scalable, cost effective solution to meet the challenges of designing reliable and efficient power conversion in medium and high voltage applications.
In 2012 Amantys won the Start Up of the Year Award at the British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAs).
In October 2013 – Amantys saw Avago, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial, and consumer applications, invest $5m in Amantys as part of a strategic investment agreement between the two companies.
The Avago investment will help Amantys accelerate critical IGBT driver development programmes to enhance the company’s roadmap of innovative, cost effective gate drive solutions.
Visit Amantys at www.amantys.com
Anvil Semiconductors Ltd of Coventry, UK secured £1m in funding during 2013 to help the company speed the development and commercialization of its silicon carbide (SiC)-on-silicon technology for power devices.
Anvil’s long-term objective is to enable the production of SiC materials and devices at a cost that rivals conventional forms of silicon, while offering substantial energy-saving benefits.
Anvil was founded in in August 2010 and is a spin off from the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering by its technology commercialization subsidiary Warwick Ventures Ltd in order to exploit patented developments in SiC power semiconductor technology. Led by co-founder Dr Peter Ward, Anvil has developed technology for the production of epitaxial 3C-SiC layers on silicon substrates that promises a step reduction in the cost of manufacturing power switches in this material.
Visit Anvil Semiconductors at https://anvil-semi.co.uk
G24 Power of Newport, Wales was founded in 2006 and is seeking to commercialize Dye-sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC) which were invented by Professor Michael Gräetzel. The company has taken Professor Graetzel’s invention from the laboratory and created the world’s first large-scale mass production facility for DSSC.
Late in 2013 G24 Power re-started production of the company’s solar cells after acquiring G24 Innovations Ltd that went into administration last year.
Located at a new 89,000sq metre factory at Imperial Park in Newport, South Wales, the company plans to quadruple its production capacity from 500,000 metres to 2,000,000 in the next two years.
Visit G24 Power at www.g24i.com
GreenPeak Technologies of Utrecht, The Netherlands, was founded in 2007 to develop RF communication technology for wireless connected home applications, offering innovative ultra-low power wireless data communication controller chips for smart home applications for remote controls,energy efficiency, lighting, heating and HVAC, access control and security solutions.
GreenPeak Technologies is a fabless semiconductor company focused on the ZigBee market with a series of semiconductor products and software technologies for Smart Home data communications and the Internet of Things.
Visit GreenPeak at www.greenpeak.com
Heliatek of Dresden, Germany was a spin-off in 2006 from the Technical University of Dresden (IAPP) and the University of Ulm which is focusing on the development of organic photovoltaics (OPV) to make light-weight, ultrathin, and powerful solar films a reality.
In 2013 Heliatek claimed a world record by achieving a solar cell efficiency of 12%. Investors in Heliatek include leading industrial and financial companies such as BASF, Bosch, RWE, Wellington Partners and eCapital.
Visit Heliatek at www.heliatek.com
Merus Audio AS of Herlev, Denmark, was founded in 2010, and launched an audio amplifier IC in 2013 based on the company’s Eximo architecture. The chip is claimed to be more energy efficient that other Class-D amplifiers and is intended to address home audio and mobile phone applications.
Merus Audio raised EUR 1.7 million in its Series A round of financing. This followed initial seed investments secured by the Company in 2010 and 2011 from SDTI, a leading Danish seed investment fund.
Visit Merus Audio at www.merus-audio.com
PowerOasis continue to invest in next generation energy storage technology aimed at extending power back-up from grid outages and making Smart Grid Energy Arbitrage Systems viable worldwide.
The company was initially funded by angel investors and completed an institutional investment round in 2011 with MTI Partners,Yorkshire Fund Managers and Oxford Capital Partners investing in the business. In 2013, Jabil invested in PowerOasis and is backing PowerOasis in its market development and customer engagement, both financially and operationally.
Visit PowerOasis at www.power-oasis.com
Powervation Ltd. of Limerick, Ireland was founded in 2006, Powervation Ltd., (Limerick, Ireland), features some of the world’s most innovative digital power technologists among its senior management team who came together to develop a new class of power-conversion technology that could surpass the capabilities of traditional analog and existing digital approaches to transform the way power is delivered and managed.
Powervation is developing intelligent digital IC solutions for designers of communications, computing, and power point-of-load systems. The company’s digital DC/DC controllers with Auto-Control technology provides intelligent adaptive compensation, delivering benefits in performance, efficiency, reliability and breakthrough design simplicity. Powervation is a private company backed by leading global VCs – SEP, Intel Capital, VentureTech Alliance and Braemar Energy Ventures.
In September 2008 Powervation unveiled its Auto-control power-conversion technology. The new chip is targeted for electronic systems used in communications, computing and consumer devices.
Late in 2013 Powervation’s PV3012 digital controller began to be used by power supply innovator, Murata Power Solutions in a new DC/DC module. The new modules are for powering the latest FPGAs and ASICs used in networking, telecom, and computing applications.
Visit Powervation at www.powervation.com
Sol Chip Ltd. (Haifa Israel), founded in 2009, develops, sells and licenses a cost-effective, compact solar battery technology that integrates solar energy sources to power wireless sensors and mobile electronics devices.
Visit Sol Chip at sol-chip.com