UWB Startup Gets VC Bump

Alereon gets $20M as it samples its high-speed chips

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

October 25, 2005

1 Min Read
UWB Startup Gets VC Bump

Ultra-wideband (UWB) chip startup Alereon Inc. has grabbed $20 million of series B venture funding and says it will have chips in production by the first quarter of 2006.

This latest round, led by Austin Ventures, brings Alereon's funding total to $54.5 million. A spokesman for Alereon says the company will use the capital to get its first UWB chips in production and complete its second-generation product.

UWB chips, for those of you that have forgotten -- and it has been a while -- use simpler and higher-performance RF-to-digital conversion techniques than conventional narrowband radios. This makes UWB suitable for a huge range of battery-powered devices. The catch is that at high data rates, UWB is limited to a relatively short range.

It's been a quiet year for UWB boosters overall, perhaps due to a sense that the technology has not yet lived up to its potential. (See Ultrawideband Preps for CES.)

But there are signs that this has just been a temporary lull, as companies like Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE: FSL) are showing interest. Freescale recently demonstrated its Direct Sequence UWB (DS-UWB) chips operating with standard Bluetooth software stacks at data transfer speeds of up to 110 Mbit/s.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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