gainspanChip developer GainSpan has raised a new $18 million round of funding to help the company create the next generation of ultra-low-power Wi-Fi chips.

GainSpan’s goal is to create incredibly low-power Wi-Fi modules and drivers that are suitable for all kinds of devices, including household appliances. On top of creating hardware, the company also develops embedded Wi-Fi software. The five markets the company said it focuses on are: healthcare and fitness, smart energy, industrial control, commercial/building automation and consumer home.

The new funding round was led by existing investors Sigma Partners, Opus Capital, New Venture Partners and Intel Capital. New investors Hatteras Funds and Mobile Internet Capital participated along with prior investors In-Q-Tel and Camp Ventures.

“Being able to attract such world-class companies is the ultimate seal of approval that we are in the right place at the right time with the right solution,” said Greg Winner, President and CEO of GainSpan, in a statement. “While the debate over what wireless technology works best will continue, it’s hard to argue with powerful financial backers, real customers and proven, innovative products in a hot market.”

San Jose, Calif.-based GainSpan was founded in 2006 and maintains a research and development team in India. With the new funding, the company has raised about $56 million, including a $5 million investment back in November 2010.