SAN JOSE, Calif. Celeno Communications Inc. (Ra'anana, Israel), a startup designing a variant of Wi-Fi chips geared for video, has closed a $16 million funding round led by Cisco Systems.
Celeno is currently sampling a 5 GHz chip set for carrying video over at rates up to 34 Mbits/second and distances up to 120 feet, according to the company. The new funding will help the company gear up sales and marketing for the current chip and design efforts on a second-generation.
Celeno competes with Amimon, another Israel-based chip startup with a similar goal. Amimon is shipping a 5 GHz chip that uses a novel encoding approach to deliver video throughout a home. It recently gathered a group of consumer companies to define a next-generation specification for its technology.
For its part, Celeno claims its approach can deliver as much as 10 times the range and as much as twice the throughput of 802.11n chips. The company says its baseband uses beam-forming MIMO and "channel aware" approaches, but Celeno has not described exactly how its approach works.
Cisco was joined in the latest round by Miven Venture Partners and Celeno's previous investors, Greylock Partners and Pitango Venture Capital. The three-year-old startup has taken more than $30 million in investments to date.
Speaking of the Cisco investment, Gilad Rozen, chief executive of Celeno, said "Cisco's expertise in home networking and video distribution brings complementary skills to address service providers' and consumers' needs for robust, carrier-grade IP video distribution solutions in the home."