If you’re trying to promote a new mobile industry standard called Weightless, it makes sense to hire an industry heavyweight to do the lifting. U.K. wireless startup Neul has hired former Icera CEO Stan Boland to take over the company.
Boland co-founded phone baseband chipmaker Icera in 2002, heading up the company as president and CEO for nine years. In 2011, Nvidia(s nvda) — anxious to add radio chips to its mobile processor portfolio — acquired it for $367 million in cash. Boland stayed on as Nvidia’s SVP of mobile communications, but according to his LinkedIn profile(s lnkd) Boland left the company in October.
Cambridge-based Neul makes wireless chips, but not for the cellular industry. It’s focusing on the emerging white spaces broadband segment — in particular the Weightless standard gaining traction in the U.K.
White spaces use the spectrum in between TV transmissions for two-day way data communications. The Weightless Special Interest Group hopes to use those airwaves as a backbone network for the internet of things, connecting low-power devices such as smart meters and mobile sensors.
Neul’s principal founders will remain with the company. Former CEO James Collier will become CTO, while William Webb has moved from CTO to chief strategy officer and will maintain his role as CEO of the Weightless SIG. Formed in 2010, Neul has quite the pedigree in mobile silicon. Many of the company’s key executives founded CSR, the U.K. fabless semiconductor giant. Neul, however, has only 45 employees and spent its first two years developing its first radio chip.