LONDON – Holding company Xtrion (Tessenderloo, Belgium), majority owner of X-Fab Silicon Foundries, has led an investment round of $2.6 million in MEMS energy harvest company MicroGen Systems Inc. (Ithaca, N.Y.). The financing includes non-dilutive funds equaling $800,000 from a separate licensing agreement, and a contract with the New York State Energy Research Development Authority.
MicroGen, founded in 2007, is developing energy harvesting products based on its MEMS-based piezoelectric platform technology installed at an X-Fab production facility. The first product is a wafer-level packaged micro-power generator that scavenge otherwise wasted ambient vibrational energy to extend the lifetime of batteries - or replace batteries – in low power wireless sensor applications.
MicroGen has said intends to develop other piezoelectric platform devices such as sensors with integrated energy harvest capability.
"Xtrion believes that the MEMS-based piezoelectric vibrational energy harvester (PZEH) technology being commercialized by MicroGen will play a significant role in wireless sensor markets within many different industries from industrial and automotive, to household and consumer," said Rudi De Winter, managing director of Xtrion. De Winter becomes a director of the MicroGen.
Robert Andosca, CEO and Co-Founder, said: "MicroGen is now poised to move into production of our piezoelectric platform devices on a major scale for initial applications in the industrial and commercial markets. The relationship with a strong semiconductor investment house enables us to reach markets more readily, and to have resources that will enable a faster ramp for MicroGen."
MicroGen Systems is included in version 13.0 of the Silicon 60 list of emerging startups published by EE Times. MicroGen entered the list at version 13.0 in April 2012.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.