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Chip incubator opens start-ups for low-cost power, 2.5D stacks

Posted: 04 May 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Silicon Catalyst? 2.5D stack? Bluetooth Low Energy? startup? Keysight?

A Silicon Valley chip incubator for semiconductor start-ups has introduced three new companies that will work on low-cost power chips, 2.5D stacks and Bluetooth ID tags. According to Silicon Catalyst, the start-ups will act as "pipe cleaners" for the incubator that promises to deliver tools, space and funding, said CEO Dan Armbrust. It intends to fill out its first round of resident start-ups by June this year.

The chip accelerator has talked with more than 70 start-ups so far who complain financing and access to leading tools and services is hard to get. In an effort to fill the gap, Silicon Catalyst added tool and service providers Advantest, Autodesk and PDF Solutions to its existing partners announced in December, Keysight, Imec, Synopsys and TSMC.

ACP Semiconductors is one of the first three start-ups in the incubator. It aims to deliver a family of integrated analogue power components, initially for industrial and city LED lighting systems. The start-up's six-member team has deep analogue experience at National Semiconductor and Micrel among other companies, said Lou Scalzo, ACP's CEO.

Another start-up, zGlue, is developing a novel fabric for linking die on a silicon interposer. It will offer its technology as a chip design service, and hopes to close within weeks a $2 million financing round to fund developing its first product at TSMC for an unnamed customer.

"We aim to offer a 2.5D chip stack at the cost of a small PCB," said Ming Zhang, zGlue's CEO, an engineer who has worked on Intel Xeon and Samsung Exynos processors.

BuzzTagg is Silicon Catalyst's third start-up. It is designing a Bluetooth Low Energy ID tag that could cost as little as $2 and is geared for businesses. The device, now in field trials in an FPGA form, targets a 10m to 50m range and two- to four-year battery life, said Michael Matthys, CEO of BuzzTagg.

"Having developed every imaginable app, it's time to build the next big platform and go back to our roots in ICs," said author Michael Malone during the launch held at the Avaya Stadium.

Silicon Catalyst

Execs used the jumbotron at the local soccer stadium to announce their news.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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