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Summary:

picoChip, maker of semiconductors for femtocells, has raised $20 million in funding, bringing its total venture capital raised to $110 million. I wrote earlier this month that PicoChip’s latest silicon could finally create an opportunity for femtocells to gain real adoption. Its investors must agree.

picoChip, maker of semiconductors for femtocells, has raised $20 million, bringing its total venture capital raised to $110 million. The Bath, UK-based company provides the radios for femtocells which sit inside a user’s home or business and boost cellular coverage. Femotcells use the home’s or business’ wired broadband connection as backhaul to connect back to the web.

Both Om and I have outlined why the femotcell market has so far failed to thrive, even though carriers are searching for ways to improve capacity on their networks — something with which femtocells could help. Then earlier this month I wrote about new silicon from picoChip that might help femotcells break out as a business opportunity. I still wonder if Wi-Fi could provide a similar service for a lower cost to both consumers and operators, but picoChip’s investors are certainly confident in the femto opportunity. picoChip raised its over-subscribed round from existing investors Atlas Venture, Highland Capital Partners, Intel Capital, Pond Ventures, Rothschild, Samsung and Scottish Equity Partners.

Related GigaOM Pro Research: Femtocells Won’t Last Long

By Stacey Higginbotham

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