Wireless networking chips are a mature market, dominated by companies like Broadcom and Qualcomm. But Israeli startup Celeno Communications has raised $24 million to start the war for wireless networking chips anew.
Celeno believes it has a wedge into the market because it can offer faster WiFi and consumers are downloading more and more video for multiple screens in their homes using wireless networks. The funding suggests that the company is making good progress toward that goal, the company said. Celeno’s technology promises to double the rate of data flow in a wireless network and increase its range ten-fold compared to standard WiFi networks. That’s important because just about every consumer is sick and tired of lousy wireless Internet access.
Ra’anana, Israel-based Celeno makes high-performance WiFi chips and software for high-definition multimedia and data networking applications. In a fifth round of funding, the company has tapped investors including Cisco, Liberty Global, Greylock Partners, and Pitango Venture Capital. To date, it has raised $68 million, making it one of the rare VC-backed semiconductor companies and one of the biggest bets on wireless networking technology.
Celeno’s chips are already in use at 75 service providers around the world, including Deutsche Telekom, Liberty Global, UPC, Bouygues Telecom, and China Telecom. The company says it can provide “zero packet loss,” which means there will be no annoying artifacts, jerky motion, or snow in a video transferred over a network with Celeno’s chips.
“The new funding comes at an exciting time in our industry as we move toward 802.11ac, the standard set to drive faster WiFi in the home,” said Gilad Rozen, CEO of Celeno. “Celeno, with its superior video-grade WiFi OptimizAir technology, is ideally positioned to capitalize on the increasing requirement by carriers seeking to offer consumers the high-quality video experience they demand on multiple screens throughout the home.”
Celeno’s OptimizAir technology optimizes wireless signals so that it can stream eight 1080p HD video streams over standard WiFi networks, including 802.11a, 802.11n, and 802.11ac protocols. It uses advanced mathematical techniques such as channel-aware scheduling, rate selection, antenna selection and power adaptation for reliable throughput, extended range, and low packet error rate. That basically means it uses known techniques to efficiently manipulate wireless signals to eliminate noise and improve the flow of data. It has smarter antennae and the ability to switch channels to get around interference.
It works with a variety of networking hubs and routers and enables one device to distribute video throughout the home wirelessly to set-top boxes, tablet computers, wireless TVs, digital video recorders, media streamers, laptops, and other devices.
Celeno was founded in 2005 and has 70 employees. Rozen has a lot of experience in digital communications technology and was previously senior vice president at Actelis Networks. He’s also a veteran of the elite research and development unit of the Israeli Defense Forces.