Nitero, a chip startup with Australian origins that now makes its home in Austin, Texas, has raised $3.1 million in funding from Trailblazer Capital, joining Southern Cross Venture Partners and Austin Ventures. Nitero was formed as a spin-off from the National ICT Australia (NICTA) research institute and started operating as a company in Melbourne, Australia, three years ago.
They are working on new multi-gigabit Wi-Fi chips that use the 60 GHz band and can be used to connect devices such as computer displays and peripherals. This technology is referred to as WiGig. Intel has toyed with the idea of using 60 GHz wireless for connecting servers inside data centers. Nitero is part of a crowded market and will be jostling with the likes of Silicon Image, Beam Networks, Tensorcom, Peraso Technologies and others. Beam, Peraso and Wilocity have also recently announced that their chips are ready for the world.
A lot has to happen for 60 GHz technologies to take off. For instance, they need to find willing buyers among PC makers — not an easy task given how tight-fisted most PC makers are. Of course, a vertically integrated company like Apple that can bundle these chips inside their various products — notebooks, displays and even Apple TVs — and make everything work seamlessly and jumpstart the technology’s adoption.
Mind you, this gigabit Wi-Fi technology is not to be confused with the gigabit Wi-Fi products being developed by the likes of Broadcom using the 802.11 ac standard. Several home networking companies are developing 802.11ac-based routers for the home.