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Ambiq Micro

ambiq micro logo
Founded: 2010
Founders: Scott Hanson (BSE MSE PhD EE '04 '06 '09), Prof. David Blaauw,
Prof. Dennis Sylvester
Product/Service: Ultra-low power semiconductor solutions
Location: Austin, TX
Ambiq Micro Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company that has developed ultra-low power mixed-signal solutions for a new generation of wireless electronics.

The Ambiq Micro founders have been designing ultra-low power semiconductor solutions since 2004 with technology developed at the University of Michigan. Ambiq Micro is lead by a team of world-recognized experts in the field of ultra-low mixed-signal design. Through extensive research in advanced power management techniques, Ambiq has produced 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M class processors that are more energy-efficient than the simplest 8-bit solutions on the market today.

Ambiq processors are used in applications requiring extremely long battery life. The AM32 processors offer a complete ultra-low power solution addressing applications with requirement for minimal power consumption in both active and sleep mode. [Ambiq Micro Website, Home]


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Rice Business Plan Competition Presentation Scott Hanson and the Mentor-in-Residence Program at the Michigan Venture Center Pheonix 2 Chip: From Concept to Commercialization

In the News

November 10, 2014

Ambiq Micro Announces $15 Million Funding Round Led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

"AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ambiq Micro, a leader in ultra-low power integrated circuits for power-sensitive applications, today announced that is has closed a $15 million Series C funding round to accelerate the development and marketing of its SPOT™ (Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology) platform. The funding round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and was supported by existing investors including Austin Ventures, Mercury Fund, and ARM Holdings. KPCB partner Wen Hsieh will be joining Ambiq Micro’s board."

August 20, 2013

Ambiq Micro Closes $10M Series B Funding Led by Austin Ventures

"AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Aug 20, 2013) - Ambiq Micro, a leader in ultra-low power integrated circuits, announced today that it has closed a $10M Series B funding round. The funding was led by Austin Ventures, plus additional participation by the firm's existing investors including ARM®, Mercury Fund, Huron River Ventures and other investors. Ambiq Micro, whose products are redefining the meaning of ultra-low power ICs, will use the funding to expand the company's SPOT™ (Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology) design platform, accelerate new product development and expand worldwide market presence. The fabless semiconductor company is headquartered in Austin, Texas."

September 18, 2012

Announcing a Strategic Channel Partnership With Abracon

" Ambiq Micro, developer of the world's lowest power Real-Time Clock products, today announced a strategic channel partnership with Abracon Corporation. This partnership will enable Abracon to sell and distribute the newly launched family of Ambiq Micro ultra-low power RTC devices both directly as well as through their global distribution channel. Major distributors include Avnet, DigiKey, Future, Mouser, Newark, WPG, Sager and other major distributors worldwide."

EE Times Silicon 60 logoApril 23, 2012

EE Times updates 'Silicon 60' list of emerging startups

Click to read EE Times 60 Emerging Startups

EE Times has updated the Silicon 60, its list of 60 notable emerging startup companies, to version 13.0 with the inclusion of 18 companies.
The full list has been selected by editors based on a mix of criteria including: technology, intended market, company maturity, financial position, investment profile and executive leadership. The 18 newcomers to the list were founded during the period 2005 to 2010. Geographically they come mainly from the U.S. (12 companies) with 4 startups out of Europe and one from each of Israel and India.
These startups are demonstrating their potential in fields that range from micro- and macro-energy conversion through energy storage to more-than-Moore disciplines including clocking, timing and MEMS. Other disciplines represented in the additions to the Silicon 60 include compound semiconductor materials and processes, optical-on-CMOS and embedded electronic systems level (ESL) development. Recent startups focused on many-core processing, solid-state memory and 60-GHz communications have also been added to the list as companies that EE Times editors believe are startups worth keeping an eye on.
The Silicon 60 was first published in April 2004 and the most recent list prior to the present one was published in April 2011.

March 12, 2012

Ambiq Micro Announces the World's Most Energy-Efficient Real-Time Clock Families with Optional Power Management

eecs logoDec 21, 2010

Generating High-Level Attention with Low-Power Microprocessors

Imagine a world in which clothing, phones, credit cards, appliances, cars, medical devices, roads, even entire buildings are embedded with tiny intelligent sensors that are constantly monitoring and managing activities.

That phenomenon, called ubiquitous computing, is already underway. But it’s been hampered by the size of the batteries required to power conventional microchips.

All that could change, however, with the October 2010 launch of U-M start-up Ambiq Micro and its energy-efficient micro-controllers.

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© Tech Transfer Annual Report, 2010

pr web logoNov 9, 2010

Ambiq Micro Secures $2.4M Investment

Austin, TX (PRWEB) — Ambiq Micro, Inc., providing the world’s most energy efficient microcontrollers, today announced the close of a $2.4M round of seed funding. The round is led by DFJ Mercury, a seed and start-up venture capital firm investing in compelling and novel start-up opportunities in information technology, advanced materials and bioscience. The funding will enable Ambiq to expand its engineering, sales and marketing teams. Other investors include: ARM, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Cisco, The Frankel Fund, Huron River Ventures and a number of private investors.

"DFJ Mercury is excited to support Ambiq Micro in its efforts to bring world-class ultra-low power microcontrollers to market," stated Ned Hill, Managing Director, DFJ Mercury. "Ambiq provides proven technology that enables new products where the requirements for significant battery life extend far beyond the capabilities available today."

"Ambiq Micro is extremely pleased to be supported by DFJ Mercury, ARM and the other investors on this stellar list," said Scott Hanson, CEO of Ambiq Micro. "This vote of confidence in Ambiq provides the capital needed to accelerate our business and provide product to a much wider range of customers."

@ PRWeb. Cindy J. Lindsay: (303) 954-8525

eecs logoJun 4, 2010

Ambiq Micro: Taking a Startup to the Next Level

Ambiq Micro, a new startup company based on microchip technology that has been in development for the past six years at U-M, has been attracting the attention of potential investors at recent business plan competitions. Ambiq Micro was co-founded in 2009 by Scott Hanson (BSE MSE PhD EE '04 '06 '09) and his thesis advisors, Prof. Dennis Sylvester and Prof. David Blaauw.

Ambiq took first place in Michigan's Business Challenge back in February, 2010, a feat that was reported in the New York Times. More recently, Hanson and U-M business students David Landman and Philip O’Niel (both MBA graduates from the Ross School of Business) took their elevator pitch and presentation to the 2010 Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC), where they took home $54K in prize money by earning the DFJ Mercury Tech Transfer Investment Prize of $50K, and taking fifth place overall in the competition. Ambiq competed against 42 teams from around the world, pitching their technology business plans to more than 200 judges.

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@ EECS News. Catharine June: (734) 936-2965,

crains detroit business logoMar 16, 2010

Ambiq Micro wins UM student business plan competition

Ann Arbor-based Ambiq Micro, a student-led company that has developed an energy-efficient microcontroller for use in the semiconductor industry, was the big winner of the 2009-10 business plan competition at the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

The company was awarded $37,000 of the $98,500 that went to 17 companies founded and run by UM students.

@ Crain's Detroit Business. Tom Henderson:

popular science logoFeb 9, 2010

Miniature Sensor Perpetually Charges Self Using Environmental Energy

Scientists, engineers, and doctors yearn for tiny sensors to record a vast array of events in the world's many hard-to-reach places. And so far, the tradeoff between battery life and size has prevented sensors from becoming small enough to fit unobtrusively in the human body, or inside very small machines. Now, University of Michigan researchers seem to have solved that puzzle by creating a chip that draws energy through solar power, heat, or movement. By forgoing a large battery for perpetual environmental power, the U of M scientists managed to produce a sensor 1,000 times smaller than any other similar device.

The chip uses a standard ARM Cortex-M3 processor, with a startlingly novel power plant. The sensor switches into and out of sleep mode regularly, and (in the prototype) draws in new energy through tiny solar panels. By combining energy frugality with opportunistic harvesting, the sensor only needs one nanowatt of power to operate. And by keeping energy usage low, the U of M scientists could afford to shrink the sensor down to a tiny 0.10" by 0.14" by 0.03".

Thus far, the researchers haven't developed any specific applications for the sensor platform, but already imagine it being deployed within the body to measure pressure in the head and eyes, in huge arrays in the wild to measure environmental disturbances at a very high resolution, or in the water supply to measure levels of contaminants.

@ Popular Science, Stuart Fox

msnbc logoFeb 9, 2010

Tiny solar-powered sensor runs almost forever

Device could enable new biomedical implants, new monitoring devices

A tiny solar-powered sensor, smaller than Abe Lincoln's head on a penny, can supply almost perpetual energy, its creators say.

The device contains solar cells, a battery and a processor, all in a package that measures 2.5 by 3.5 by 1 millimeters.

It could enable new biomedical implants as well as new devices to monitor buildings, bridges and homes. "It could vastly improve the efficiency and cost of current environmental sensor networks designed to detect movement or track air and water quality," the developers said in a statement.

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@ MSNBC, Tech News Daily

um news logoFeb 8, 2010

Millimeter-scale, energy-harvesting sensor system developed

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A 9-cubic millimeter solar-powered sensor system developed at the University of Michigan is the smallest that can harvest energy from its surroundings to operate nearly perpetually.

The U-M system’s processor, solar cells, and battery are all contained in its tiny frame, which measures 2.5 by 3.5 by 1 millimeters. It is 1,000 times smaller than comparable commercial counterparts.

The system could enable new biomedical implants as well as home-, building- and bridge-monitoring devices. It could vastly improve the efficiency and cost of current environmental sensor networks designed to detect movement or track air and water quality.

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@ UM Press Release. Nicole Casal Moore: (734) 764-7260,