- Altitude One LP
- Investment date
- JULY 2016
- Exit date
- DEVELOPMENT CAPITAL
Founded in 2005 by Stephen Crosher, Neil Roberts and Damian Smith, a highly capable mixed-signal integrated circuit (‘IC’) design team, Moortec Semiconductor's mission is to be the number one choice for analog and mixed-signal IC solutions.
Headquartered in Plymouth, Moortec is a semiconductor Intellectual Property (‘IP’) business supplying ‘In Chip’ monitoring IP products.
Moortec has developed a core portfolio of IP for ‘in-chip’ sensors. The three prime areas of Moortec’s expertise revolves around Process Monitoring, Voltage Supply Monitoring and Temperature Sensing. Combined this is known as ‘PVT’ monitoring.
With the continued increase in the performance requirements and size of the latest chip developments Moortec’s monitoring and control sensors are becoming increasingly essential for modern chip design.
Moortec’s IP technology has been in demand ever since it was first developed in 2010 and its global customer base includes tier-1 consumer, enterprise and automotive technology. In addition, it has established IP relationships with all of the main global silicon foundries. Moortec’s high accuracy monitoring IP is already present in more than 10 million smartphones.
The Growth Challenge
PVT monitoring is becoming an ever-increasing component of silicon chip design as heat management becomes a bigger issue the smaller the chips get and the more transistors there are on each chip.
Chip sizes are measured in nano-metres (‘nm’) with current sizes being 40nm, 28nm and 16nm. The market is looking to reduce this further in the coming 18 months down to 7nm with the current norm centring on the 16nm and 28nm.
Moortec’s challenge as a specialist supporter of this essential technology is to ensure synchronicity with the developments that take place whilst maintaining a key alignment with both the chip manufacturers and the end user suppliers / users. This is in addition to maintaining further development and enhancement of their core PVT IP products.
Moortec received a c£1m development capital investment from Altitude Partners. With this, it has a set of clearly defined capital investment objectives that will aim to consolidate and enhance Moortec’s market position.
The partnership with Altitude will focus upon the following clearly defined goals:
- Recruitment of six additional engineers in order to support digital design, layout and customer support. This will help to bring new projects online and broaden the resource base in the business.
- Two additional salesmen will also be added to the staff to support customer and prospect interaction. This will supplement other staff development in core areas, including licensing and quotations, both of which are key areas in the protection and development of the business.
- Foundry costs are a critical element of Moortec’s future. There is an on-going requirement to work with the foundries in order to ‘silicon prove’ the Moortec IP prior to distribution and sale. Testing though a mixture of modelling and actual performance ensures that true tolerances and marketed performance can be verified. This aspect of the business is expensive but imperative and increases the product credibility and referencability.
Altitude partners Simon White and Jonathan Simm have joined the Board in order to support the anticipated growth by providing guidance based upon a heritage of supporting growing businesses.
“Moortec is an ambitious company with plans to develop a number of new IP product lines in to a rapidly expanding market for in-chip monitoring solutions. Support from the team at Altitude and in particular their experience of business growth will prove invaluable to our future.”
Stephen Crosher, Founder & MD
In the coming 24 months Moortec is looking to ‘silicon prove’ existing PVT IP which will support their market interactions. In addition development will continue on a number of new product areas, particularly Energy Optimisation and On-Chip Condition Monitoring.
Altitude have a good ‘hands off-hand on’ approach which allows us to function effectively in what is a complex manufacturing market.Founder & MD
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