14 February 2012

Black Sand closes $10m Series C funding round

Fabless semiconductor firm Black Sand Technologies Inc of Austin, TX, USA, which was founded in 2005, has received $10m in third-round (series C) funding, as it ramps volume production of its range of CMOS silicon power amplifiers for use in 3G phones, tablets and datacards. The latest funding round was led by existing investors Northbridge Venture Partners and Austin Ventures.

“The enthusiastic commitment of our shareholders, placing $10m in cash on the balance sheet, is a powerful endorsement of our strategy and our growing success in the market,” reckons CEO John Diehl. “We are already shipping in volume to multiple customers, and this additional investment will allow us to take the company to the next level - in terms of new products and an expansion of the sales and technical team,” he adds. 

Black Sand uses industry-standard CMOS semiconductor technology in the manufacture of key handset components that have traditionally required specialized process technologies. The firm says that its products can hence be made in the world’s largest semiconductor foundries, improving quality, reliability and robustness, reducing costs, and giving customers supply assurance.

“The team at Black Sand has performed impressively over the last 24 months, not only successfully productizing the silicon power amplifier concept, but also achieving significant market traction,” comments Basil Horangic, a partner at Northbridge.

“The market that Black Sand addresses certainly has a compelling need for its technology,” reckons Clark Jernigan, venture partner at Austin Ventures. “Black Sand’s products benefit consumers, handset makers and network operators.”

The firm’s BST34 series of power amplifiers is designed as a drop-in replacement for existing 3G gallium arsenide PAs, improving supply and lowering cost for handset manufacturers, it is claimed. The BST35 series also uses another key feature of CMOS process technology - the ability to integrate more functionality on-chip. Black Sand claims that the overall result is a reduction in the incidence of dropped calls, an increase in real-world data rates, and reductions in network operators’ capital expenditure requirements.

See related items:

Black Sand raises $10m in Series B funding

Tags: Black Sand Technologies 3G CMOS PA

Visit: www.blacksand.com

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