LONDON Four of the founders of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) company Skype have invested in Estonian startup Clifton Semiconductor.
Clifton (Tartu, Estonia) has been set up to produce gallium arsenide power diodes and has received $2 million in funding from Ambient Sound Investments Ou (Tallinn, Estonia), a company set up by four of the founders of Skype, according to reports.
The sale of Skype to Ebay Inc. for $2.5 billion was completed in October 2005. Ambient Sound Investments (ASI) was formed by Ahti Heinla, chief Architect at Skype; Priit Kasesalu, senior developer at Skype; Jaan Tallinn, senior Developer at Skype and Toivo Annus, former head of engineering at Skype.
Clifton has solved technical hurdles related to gallium arsenide manufacture with a proprietary liquid epitaxy process, according ASI. The company expects its first customers to come from the aerospace industry. Clifton's chief executive officer is Lembit Dahlberg.
Clifton has 24 employees and is about six months away from producing its first commercial samples, and up to two years away from mass production, according to online reports. Clifton has made arrangements to sell gallium arsenide PIN diodes through Semelab Ltd. (Lutterworth, England) according to one report.