Austin-based Ambiq Micro, a leader in ultra-low power integrated circuits for power-sensitive applications, today announced that is has closed a $15 million Series C funding round to accelerate the development and marketing of its SPOT™ (Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology) platform. The funding round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and was supported by existing investors including Austin Ventures, Mercury Fund, and ARM Holdings. KPCB partner Wen Hsieh will be joining Ambiq Micro’s board.
Ambiq Micro’s proprietary SPOT platform dramatically reduces the energy consumption of semiconductors by reducing the voltage level at which switching occurs inside the chips. The company already manufactures and markets real-time clocks (RTCs) using this technology and a microcontroller (MCU) family, manufactured using the same standard CMOS process, will be announced within the next few weeks. The MCUs will target Internet of Things (IoT) applications, particularly wearable electronic devices, where energy savings will translate into much longer battery life.
Battery life in many applications, especially those in the wearable and IoT markets, fall well short of what is desired and have hindered widespread deployment of these products. Ambiq Micro’s devices solve this problem, enabling the development of products with much longer battery life than is currently possible. Some will run for months or even years between battery charges. Other products will benefit from the addition of new features that would not otherwise be achievable within restrictive power budgets. The potential to use significantly smaller batteries will also provide more creative freedom for products designers too, allowing them to explore form factors that were not previously possible and to make smaller, lighter devices.
Ambiq Micro’s CEO and President Mark Foley commented: “We’re very privileged to welcome KPCB as both an investor and partner for growth. The firm is widely recognized as one of the most insightful and successful in the world. We’re also delighted that our earlier investors decided to participate in the new funding round, reinforcing our firm belief that our revolutionary SPOT platform is going to redefine the meaning of ‘ultra-low power’ in the electronics industry at a time when there is a global explosion in demand for small, battery-powered products.”
KPCB partner, Wen Hsieh, adds, “KPCB’s Low Power Everywhere initiative believes that in a world where consumers and businesses are always on, there’s an increasing need for devices with improved energy efficiency and battery life. Ambiq Micro has developed a 10X lower power MCU for mobile, wearables and IoT devices. We’re excited to back an exceptional team and to help them quickly scale this opportunity.” Mr. Hsieh joins the board of Ambiq Micro.