Nujira raises £5m and boosts headcount as it pushes the ‘envelope’
Cambridge-based Nujira has raised an extra £5m and expanded its team and UK capacity in a bid to put its Coolteq Envelope Tracking technology into 800 million handsets worldwide by 2016.
As part of its new roadmap, Nujira has expanded its team to 66 to enable the company to support engagements with its handset partners, and has secured the additional funding from existing investors to support the accelerated growth plans. It is opening a design centre in Scotland to complement the existing Cambridge and Bath locations.The company is announcing its second generation handset test chip at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February as well as the completion of an Envelope Tracking Processor IC for cellular network infrastructure. Nujira reports that significant interest from leading silicon vendors in the handset ecosystem has led to the expansion of its handset engineering team. Nujira Coolteq.L Envelope Tracking power modulators can save over 1W in an LTE terminal, enabling a single multiband, multimode PA module to transmit 20 MHz 4G signals using less power than today’s single-band 3G PAs. In September, Nujira announced that it had licensed its Coolteq.L handset technology to a Tier 1 semiconductor vendor in the handset ecosystem. The company is now developing a commercial Envelope Tracking processor IC to replace the DC-DC converter in the handset, which will transform the power consumption of 3.5G and 4G terminals. CEO Tim Haynes said: “4G terminals will not work without Envelope Tracking. Using standard power architectures, 4G terminals will use 75 per cent more power than today’s 3G terminals and require up to seven PA modules to cover the whole of the allocated spectrum. “With Envelope Tracking, terminals will use 30-50 per cent less power and require just two PAs. The case for Envelope Tracking is overwhelming, which is why we are in detailed discussions with OEMs and partners representing more than 70 per cent of the handset market. “Coolteq.L will replace the DC-DC converter and become the standard power architecture for the next generation of handsets, because it is the only power optimisation technology which delivers the high bandwidths and wideband capability needed for 3.5G and 4G. “Nujira Coolteq is PA, baseband, frequency and modulation scheme agnostic. It can deliver significant power savings for any terminal on any 3G or 4G network.” Nujira has received silicon for the first chip in its next-generation cellular infrastructure modulator. The device, known as EPIC™ (Envelope Tracking Processor IC) is currently in test, and is due to be delivered to Tier 1 customers in Q2 2011. The key feature of EPIC is its high speed 2.5 Gbps JESD204A OpenET Interface. The device has a 500MHz clock and is manufactured on the TSMC 0.18G process. It is packaged in a 104 pin aQFN. Its companion device, the SWIC™, a state-of-the-art SWitchmode power system IC, is taped out and currently in fab. It integrates two 5MHz PWM (pulse width modulation) controllers. Based on EPIC device and SWIC, Nujira will create a second generation Envelope Tracking power modulator that offers better performance at lower cost in a smaller module.• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Nujira CEO Tim Haynes