Israeli chip maker Amimon has raised $10 million in a third round of funding for its business of chips for high-definition video wireless networking.
Amimon’s business is taking off as more people discover they want to transfer HD video from one device in the home to another. Major TV makers are shippng HDTVs with the chips either built into them or into devices that are bundled with the TVs. We pointed out before that the company has managed to survive the wreckage of wireless chip makers.
In May, the company announced its second-generation chip set for Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) wireless networking devices, which can transfer HD video through an entire home. Yoav Nissan-Cohen, chief executive, said the company was seeing strong acceptance of its first-generation product, both in consumer electronics devices and in medical imaging equipment. Customers include Sony, Sharp, Mitsubishi, Gefen, Belkin, Stryker (medical devices), IDX (Pro AV video cameras), Philips, and Hinsense.
The second-generation chip set goes a step further than the last in that it can transfer full high-definition video, which is defined as video in the 1080p format running at 60 frames per second. The previous chip set could only do 1080i video at slower speeds. The new chip set is compliant with the Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) industry standard and is expected to ship in customer products in 2010.
Amimon’s second-generation technology operates in the 5-gigahertz band, transmits data at 3 gigabits per second, and has a range of about 100 feet. It can pierce through walls and is very responsive. Since a rival technology, ultra wideband, has pretty much died on the vine, Amimon doesn’t have a ton of competitors.
SiBEAM is one rival that is using a different technology, based on the 60-gigahertz band of the radio spectrum, with higher speeds but shorter ranges. SiBEAM says it can transfer data at 4 gigabits per second. Another new rival is Quantenna, which uses the Wi-Fi protocol 802.11n to transfer video wirelessly.
Amimon plans to use the money to expand its production and worldwide operations. Investors include round leader Stata Venture Partners and all prior investors: Argonaut Private Equity, Cedar Fund, Evergreen Venture Partners, and Walden Israel and Motorola through their strategic venture capital, Motorola Ventures.
Amimon was founded in 2004 and has raised $50 million to date.