LONDON — EoSemi Ltd., a UK-based developer of CMOS replacements for crystal oscillators, has closed an equity funding round worth approximately $2.5 million and made management changes. As part of the changes the company is embracing crystal oscillator (XO) technology and plans to sell XO components into the mobile phone handset sector.
The latest funding brings the total invested in the company to more than $9 million. Established investors Capital E, Nesta, and Enterprise Ventures, were joined in the latest round by an unnamed private investor.
The company, which first surfaced a couple of years ago (see CMOS timing startup raises $2.3 million), has now completed the acquisition of key intellectual property from Adaptalog Ltd., a UK-based crystal oscillator firm, and as part of that deal Hedley Rokos, Adaptalog's founder, becomes chief technology officer of eoSemi. Semiconductor industry veteran Simon Calder, a member of eoSemi's board of directors for the last two years, has become the company's CEO. These positions were both held by company co-founder Ian Macbeth, who is no longer with the company.
Prior to the acquisition of Adaptalog's IP, eoSemi concentrated entirely on frequency-drift compensation circuits for silicon oscillators. These circuits are able to compensate for the effects of temperature, stress, strain, and aging on a silicon oscillator's frequency and help maintain accuracy. The company believes that its existing technology combined with Adaptalog's silicon characterization expertise could reduce the frequency drift of a CMOS oscillator to less than 50 parts per million. This level of accuracy will facilitate the removal of quartz crystals from many wireline connected electronic systems, the company asserts.
However, eoSemi also intends to offer crystal oscillator products that address full power, standby, and sleep modes of operation in battery-powered applications. These crystal oscillators will be aimed at LTE smartphone handsets where they will allow a single crystal oscillator to be used with multiple diverse wireless sub-systems including GPS and WiFi without any significant reduction of battery life. Most of today's smart mobile devices require multiple crystals to meet accuracy requirements.
"The electronics industry has already started replacing quartz wherever possible, our mission is to greatly accelerate this process," said Calder in a statement provided to EE Times. "With the acquisition of Adaptalog's IP, eoSemi now has the critical mass of both IP and engineering smarts to be able to satisfy that lofty ambition."