TiHive Raises $10M for THz Imaging Chip

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ALA, EENewsEurope: TiHive, Grenoble, France, raises €8.6M ($10M) for its THz imager, including equity funding from an fund run by the European Commission.

The really cool thing is the EC has funded academic organisation or SMEs via grants but now have seen they go beyond that, so €2.3m is a grant and €6.3m is in equity as a partners and we will be attracting other investors,” says Hani Sherry, CEO and co-founder of TiHive. “They won’t be a majority shareholder, it’s like a Series A and will own a part of the company, so it is actually a pretty big round but we are phasing it. This development is capital intensive so we need cash and Europe would like to boost strategic technologies in Europe and they have identified us as the leader in the technology. They would like to behave like VCs with a return on investment and the idea is to continue investing.

We operate from a few hundred GHz to 1THz and we have demonstrated chips at 2 and 3THz but for the applications we have found the unexplored applications range from 300 to 600GHz, that’s a major area,” says Sherry. “We have tried multiple nodes, including 28FD-SOI, and we have mastered the different technologies. 65nm is a sweet spot for us, it has fantastic performance and a good cost at large scale and it has the libraries available.

TiHive, now in its third year, initially struggled to pick a market focus as its THz imager presented such a broad array of opportunities across different industries, from luxury goods and pharmaceuticals to performance materials. Although the company continues to explore opportunities with partners in these fields, it has adopted a strategic focus on the hygiene and personal care markets. TiHive estimates a €10 billion opportunity in potential material savings and quality improvements for manufacturers of personal care products, which it claims generate a combined €150 billion in sales each year.

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