SAN FRANCISCOóNujira Ltd., a U.K.-based power amplifier specialist and pioneer in "envelope tracking" technology for handsets, said Thursday (Sept. 6) it raised an additional $12 million in funding, mostly from previous investors.
Nujira (Cambridge, U.K.) said the funding would secure the rollout and ramp to volume production of the company's Coolteq.L IC technology for handsets.
Envelope tracking (ET) is a power supply technique for improving the energy efficiency of RF power amplifiers. It replaces the fixed DC supply voltage to the RF PA with a dynamic supply voltage, which closely tracks the amplitude, or "envelope" of the transmitted RF signal.
Nujira announced the first commercial IC in its Coolteq.L product family of ET power supply modulators for mobile handsets at Mobile World Congress in February. According to the company, the NCT-L1100 reduces wasted energy from power amplifiers in mobile handsets by more than 50 percent, cutting heat dissipation and extending battery life. In April Nujira also announced the filing of its 150th patent relating to ET technology.
Nujira said it is currently engaged with 16 major smartphone chipset suppliers to embed its ET technology into their reference platforms. The company said it expects its Coolteq.L technology to be designed into 4G smartphones in 2013.
The latest funding round brings the total raised by Nujira to around $70 million since it was founded in 2002. The latest funding round included a new investor, Zurich-based SAM Private Equity, as well as existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Climate Change Capital, Environmental Technologies Fund, NES Partners and angel investors, Nujira said.
"ET is fast becoming a mandatory requirement for smartphones, driven by the poor battery life of existing 4G handsets, and the need to support multiple LTE frequency bands for global adoption," said Tim Haynes, Nujira CEO, in a statement. "We have been at the forefront of this technological shift, pioneering the development of ET over the last 10 years. This latest investment not only allows us to continue that development work, but also reinforces the growing value of our extensive ET patent portfolio."
Nujira maintains that its patents cover not only the core technical breakthroughs that underpin its Coolteq ET modulator ICs, but also wider system elements, including system architectures, timing alignment, PA performance enhancement, and others.