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Surprisingly there are still semiconductor companies getting funding out there, as Quantance, a chip maker proved Monday when it scored $11 million in third-round funding from TD Fund, Granite Ventures, InterWest Partners and DOCOMO Capital. This follows on a second round the company raised in 2008.
Quantance, which was formed in 2006, makes an analog radio chip that helps boost the signal the cell phone delivers to the base station – hardly the sexiest component on a board, but its breakthrough is enabling the battery in cell phones to last longer. There’s a lot math and architecture going into the chip, which will be in actual handsets, tablets and other mobile devices that contain a modem, some time in the first half of next year.
And now, with this round of funding CEO Vikas Vinayak is eyeing the computation market, where power usage, especially on laptops and mobile CPUs is still high. Quantance can adapt its component to allow CPUs to idle at lower power than they do today. So now that it has managed to get a working chip in actual products in one market, it’s ready to target the next opportunity. Luckily for Quantance, between our demand for mobility and our demand for more computing, reducing power consumption will always be a big deal.