TECH MONEY

Groundbreaking chip designer Ambiq Micro raises $2.5 million in debt financing

The Austin-based company’s ultra-low-power chip greatly expands battery life for devices like smart watches and activity trackers

Posted December 22nd, 2016

Ambiq Micro, which broke ground last year with its ultra-low-power chip, has raised $2.5 million in debt financing to continue its expansion. 

The money is part of a planned $4.5 million offering, according securities filings. The name of the backer was not disclosed.

Ambiq Micro’s technology dramatically cuts the energy consumption of semiconductors by reducing the voltage level at which switching occurs inside the chips. That enables the development of products such as wearable electronic devices that demand longer-lasting battery power.

For consumers, that means battery life for a smart watch or activity tracker that could last for weeks or months longer than previously possible.

"The incredible pace of Moore's Law disrupted computing every year or two and took us from room-sized supercomputers to billions of pocket-sized mobile phones," said Scott Hanson, Ambiq Micro founder, said this month when the company released its Apollo 2 platform. "Ambiq Micro's technology will bring a similar pace of innovation to the Internet of Things.”

Ambiq Micro’s roots go back to the University of Michigan, where Hanson, an engineering graduate fellow, worked with two professors to develop Ambiq Micro’s design.

Hanson spun the company out of the university in 2010 and moved it to Austin because of the availability of chip engineering talent here.

He is now the company’s chief technology officer.

Two years ago, Ambiq Micro raised $15 million in venture capital from investors including Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins, Austin Ventures, Mercury Fund and ARM Holdings. At that time, the company had raised a total of $31 million.

In August, the company received $9.5 million from 35 investors, according to securities filings.

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