Chip maker Amalfi gets $24M funding for cellphone guts

You may be holding an Amalfi product to your head right now. The company designs CMOS power amplifiers, an integral part of any mobile phone. But Amalfi Semiconductor can’t name its customers, not to me nor to anyone else.

Battery Ventures led this round of funding, Amalfi’s third, followed by unnamed “existing investors.” DCM, Globespan Capital Partners and Trinity Ventures also participated. Battery Ventures partner Ken Lawler has joined Amalfi’s board.

I couldn’t get a meeting by press time, but an Amalfi spokeswoman told me that Amalfi sees the unwired Third World as an emerging growth market for phones built with Amalfi products inside them.

That’s very different from the smartphone-only mindset of American app developers. In most of the rest of the world, Nokia outsells everybody, so you can guess where Amalfi wants its chips to be. Given that Amalfi’s home page is fronted by a photo of a BlackBerry, you can guess where they already are.