On the Cusp of the UWB Technology Revolution, Here’s What We’ve Learned

UWB Technology Revolution

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One of the best things about our conversations with customers is the unbridled excitement they share for ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. We relish those moments when their eyes widen as the implications and advantages of UWB reveal themselves in full – when it becomes plainly apparent that UWB isn’t just some ho-hum incremental speed boost or niche connectivity fad.

UWB is much more than that.

As envisioned today, UWB is the future of short-range wireless communication. Everywhere Bluetooth resides today – across untold commercial and industrial applications – UWB can potentially reside tomorrow, breaking decades-old performance barriers in its wake. From our earphones to the edge, UWB will deliver our wireless data – and there will be a lot of it – far faster and more energy efficiently than many of us ever imagined.

Many of us, but not all of us. Our customers have big imaginations! And SPARK does too.

It’s what fueled us on our relatively speedy journey from start-up to global competitor. SPARK parlayed a $1M bet on our technology into one of the fastest start-up maturations among any chip company in recent history. That tiny seed investment – and the strength and support of our ecosystem – sustained us all the way through our first production tape-out. In the semiconductor community, this is unheard of.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS

It’s said that no one does it alone, and SPARK is no exception. In late 2016, we had the great fortune to be embraced into Silicon Catalyst’s accelerator program, where we benefitted from unfettered access to industry luminaries and a robust partner ecosystem to help guide our early decision making. The program is specially tailored for chip startups, and it affords easier, earlier access to invaluable MCU/processor IP, among other key resources.

We learned some invaluable lessons along the way, imparted by the foremost design houses and technology and foundry partners. Above all, we learned some of the many ways we can help streamline our customers’ product and technology development paths, minimize their risks, and maximize their overall design/IP versatility as they continue to evolve their product portfolios and businesses. This in turn helps our customers get to market faster, while helping to establish a lasting, flexible foundation for success.

And time to market is everything. As an industry, we’re amassing at the gateway to the UWB revolution, and nobody wants to be late as the door swings open.

For an inside look at SPARK’s trajectory from start-up to UWB technology leader – and the challenges we had to overcome to get there – be sure to check out SemiWiki’s recent podcast ‘Silicon IP for Early-Stage Semiconductor Companies (Episode #25)’. SPARK’s own Fares Mubarak is joined by the CEOs of Dover Microsystems and Espre Technologies for a spirited discussion about the requirements and challenges unique to early-stage chip companies investigating and selecting IP to underpin their products, discussing both the technical and business aspects of securing IP for one’s designs.

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