Touchstone tried to do to Maxim what Maxim did to others decades ago. I was always a bit worried the Touchstone strategy would rile the lawyers of one of the suppliers they were trying to one-up, specifically Maxim. No news on that angle has surfaced to date.
Since there was no mention of Toushstone management joining the firm that sort of throws up a red flag. The reporters need it dig a bit into this.
I suppose I could drive buy the Touschstone parking lot and see if there are any cars there!
Touchstone has some compelling technology applicable to the energy harvesting space so this seems like a great fit for Silicon Labs. Touchstone had the only low-power comparator with built-in Vref that operated below 1V that I could find at the time (and probably still does). Ironically, my application was a load switch that kept an Energy Micro MCU disconnected from a supercap until enough charge was harvested to power-up and run the application. The load switch was necessary because the power draw from the MCU as the voltage approached the minimum operating voltage from below increased quite significantly until the MCU "came alive" at which point the power dropped greatly. Without the load switch, the power level from the harvester was unnecessarily high just "to get over the hump".
I hope that since Silicon Labs now owns both the problem and a possible solution, they will address this MCU loading issue better in the future.
Analog on CMOS, could that have failed touchstone...just speculating could the absence of access to a solid linear BiCMOS /BCDMOS process spanning a good voltage range limit the product portfolio of touchstone, while the analog players like TI and ADI have good exposure these type of process technologies....whatever said and done foundry not equal to an internal fab with respect to linear analog process technologies....
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists from incubators join Peter Clarke in debate.