Black Sand Technologies, Inc, a fabless semiconductor company into advanced power amplifier technology for wireless applications, has received $10 million in third-round (series C) funding, as it ramps volume production of its range of 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 commitment of our shareholders, placing $10 million in cash on the balance sheet, is a powerful endorsement of our strategy and our growing success in the market. 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," said John Diehl, CEO of Black Sand.
Black Sand employs industry standard CMOS semiconductor technology to make key handset components that traditionally needed specialized process technologies. The company’s products can therefore be made in the world’s largest semiconductor foundries, thus improving quality, reliability and robustness, reducing costs, and giving customers supply assurance.
"The market Black Sand addresses certainly has a compelling need for its technology. Black Sand’s products benefit consumers, handset makers and network operators – with this kind of win-win proposition, we’re confident that the company can move to even greater success," said Clark Jernigan, Venture Partner at Austin Ventures.
The Black Sand BST34 series of power amplifiers is designed as a drop-in replacement for existing 3G GaAs (gallium arsenide) power amplifiers, improving supply and lowering cost for handset manufacturers; the BST35 series moves the market forward, using another important feature of CMOS process technology – the ability to integrate more intelligence and functionality on-chip. The overall result is a reduction in the incidence of dropped calls, increase in real-world data rates and reductions in network operators’ capital expenditure requirements.