Semiconductor startup milliBeam has announced a $750,000 seed investment round, which it says will help it accelerate development of its technology to improve mmWave 5G communications and build its design team, ahead of establishing an R&D centre in Sydney.
The backing came from CSIRO venture arm Main Sequence, with Partner Mike Nicholls describing the opportunity for 5G as “ripe for disruptive companies and new entrants.”
Founded by experienced semiconductor engineer Dr Venkata Gutta (pictured), the company said its LEFT-BEAM technology is based on innovations around “system and circuit architectures and integrated circuit design”. According to milliBeam, it could improve on current state-of-the-art 5G beamformers, which consume many watts of battery power, had an overall efficiency under 2 per cent, and a signal range of 100 metres or less.
“5G mmWave is an exciting and necessary next step in the evolution of the communications market,” said Gutta in a statement.
“However, there are inevitable teething problems and hurdles to overcome before it goes widespread including its suitability over long distances, how well it can go through walls, and energy-efficiency.”
milliBeam is a “fabless” semiconductor company, meaning it outsources manufacture of chips to an unnamed contractor. According to the company, its team is located across Australia and comprises integrated circuit designers and test and verification engineers, with backgrounds including at Samsung, AMD, Macom and elsewhere.
The company said it plans to open an R&D centre in Sydney “in the coming months”.
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