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Seven Silicon Catalyst Companies to Exhibit at CES, the Most Powerful Tech Event in the World

Seven Silicon Catalyst Companies to Exhibit at CES, the Most Powerful Tech Event in the World
by Mike Gianfagna on 12-21-2023 at 6:00 am

Seven Silicon Catalyst Companies to Exhibit at CES, the Most Powerful Tech Event in the World

According to its website, CES® Is the global stage for innovation, delivering the most powerful tech event in the world — the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, it is the only trade show that showcases the entire tech landscape at one event. This is indeed a prestigious show. If you’ve never gone, you should. It takes over essentially all of Las Vegas for a few days in early January. There will be more information about the show later, but first I’d like to explore a rather impressive statistic. An extensive list of Silicon Catalyst incubator companies will be exhibiting this year at CES, presenting significant advances in AI, sensing and vision. Let’s examine the seven Silicon Catalyst companies to exhibit at CES, the most powerful tech event in the world.

Kura Technologies – https://www.kura.tech

Kura TechnologiesKura’s mission is to build the best personal AI assistant to empower people 100x in working, learning, and communicating. To do that, the company started by building its first product – the world’s best-performing direct-see-through augmented reality glasses and SaaS collaboration + AI platform, which solves today’s biggest adoption challenges in augmented reality, AI data and AI tool deployment. The goal is to expand the market 100x or more.

Today’s AR glasses are bottlenecked by a small field-of-view, low transparency (less than 25%, similar to dark sunglasses), low resolution, poor brightness (unsuited for outdoor or bright indoor environments), and bulky form factor, all of which prevent widespread adoption.

Kura’s AR glasses and telepresence+collaboration platform feature a 150° field-of-view (9x that of existing AR), 95% transparency (4x existing), 8K resolution (4x existing), high brightness, wide range of depth for variable focus, and a compact form factor, solving the bottlenecks which prevent the adoption of AR.

The company has achieved successful tapeout of its custom backplane at TSMC on a production CMOS node; this backplane uses its proprietary drive algorithms and is the world’s fastest micro-display driver. Kura has paid orders from 400+ companies with demand of 500K+ units; over $30M in PO requests in 2022 and 2023

Kura is not new to CES. Last year, they won the CES Innovation Award and Best of CES.

Oculi – https://www.oculi.ai

OculiOculi® is an alumnus of the Silicon Catalyst incubator.  It is a fabless semiconductor company that produces the OCULI SPU™ (Sensing & Processing Unit), a novel architecture and product in the world of AI and vision technology. The OCULI SPU is the only single chip Software-Defined Vision Sensor™ that delivers Real-Time Vision Intelligence (VI) at the edge. Oculi makes computer/machine vision faster and more efficient by embedding intelligence in the sensor starting at the pixel, the true edge!

The OCULI SPU is the product of over 18 years of R&D led by Dr. Charbel Rizk, Founder CEO CTO of Oculi which started at the Johns Hopkins University and was specifically focused on developing efficient vision Intelligence on a single chip that delivers fast response and low bandwidth, power, size, and weight.

With Oculi vision, its partners can deliver a natural and immersive user experience under any lighting conditions, indoors and outdoors, with up to 30X reduction in power consumption and latency with a lower bill of materials.

Owl Autonomous Imaging – https://www.owlai.us

Owl Autonomous ImagingOwl is also an alumnus of the Silicon Catalyst incubator.  The company is all about safety, especially pedestrian safety. It is developing HD thermal image sensors and computer vision software. Headquartered in the heart of image sensor innovation, Rochester NY, it is singularly focused on improving visibility in no light, bright light, and degraded visual environments.

As a fabless semiconductor company, Owl supplies a patented HD thermal digital image

sensor, auto qualified camera cores and a thermal camera reference design. Its computer vision algorithms are uniquely designed for thermal applications. For example:

  • Classification CNNs
  • Ranging CNNs
  • 3D fusion & object segmentation

The current markets served include automotive ADAS L2+, L3/4 autonomy, industrial, construction, agriculture, and smart infrastructure. Its thermal computer vision platform is in active trials today.

Quadric – https://quadric.io

QuadricAnother alumnus of the Silicon Catalyst incubator, Quadric had created the industry’s first GPNPU (general purpose Neural Processing Unit). ML models are created using known labeled datasets (training phase) and are subsequently used to make predictions when presented with new, unknown data in a live deployment scenario (inference). Because an enormous amount of computing resources is required both for training and inference, an ML accelerator is now vital in handling computational workloads.

For most high-volume consumer products, chips are designed with tight cost, power, and size limitations. This is the market Quadric serves with innovative semiconductor intellectual property (IP) building blocks. Its ML-optimized Chimera processors allow companies to rapidly build leading-edge SoCs and more easily write application code for those chips.

After proving the innovative Chimera architecture in 2021 by producing a test chip, Quadric introduced its first licensable IP product – the industry’s first GPNPU (general purpose Neural Processing Unit) in November of 2022, and began product deliveries in Q2 2023. You can learn more about Quadric on SemiWiki here.

SigmaSense – https://sigmasense.com

SigmaSenseSigmaSense® is pioneering a programmable continuous DSP-based sensing technology for use in touch displays, automotive surfaces, and battery impedance sensing applications. SigmaSense has created a radical technology transformation of how digital systems interact with the physical analog world, enabling reconfigurable mixed signal solutions that can be continuously optimized.

The new platform measures current direct-to-digital, eliminating the signal preconditioning of traditional voltage mode ADCs. This enables simplified designs, better quality data capture, and systems that can continuously improve. The Society for Information Displays recognized the company’s first touch controller (SDC100) as the “Display Component of the Year” for its innovation in leading the transition away from high voltage, time-base sensing, to current and frequency-based systems.

SigmaSense has substantial investments in its patent filings. The enabling IP is protected with over 250 patents already issued and 180 more pending. The patent filings extend to a range of applications including traditional touch screens, power regulation, batteries, electric motors, data communications, medical, automotive, and IoT applications.

Sonical – https://www.sonical.ai

SonicalSonical is another alumnus of the Silicon Catalyst incubator.  The company is enabling Headphone 3.0, the next industry standard for ear worn products. Sonical is building a platform for Headphone 3.0 that unlocks the secret potential of your ears using more effective wearable products.  The team at Sonical is developing its own operating system, CosmOS, along with a dedicated chip specifically designed for hearables running downloadable plugins. 

This will unlock the large number of app developers that have created advanced AI based algorithms.  The company’s mission is to empower hearables manufacturers, as well as individual users, to select which features and combinations of apps they want to include in their new hearables products in the same way one currently chooses which apps for a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Sonical enables App developers to have direct access to consumers to deliver a differentiated experience, exactly what they need, when they need it.

Sonical and XMOS, a semiconductor company at the leading edge of the intelligent IoT will be providing early demonstrations of a collaboration for Headphone 3.0 at CES.

SPARK Microsystems – https://www.sparkmicro.com

SPARK MicrosystemsAlso a Silicon Catalyst alumnus, SPARK Microsystems is a fabless semiconductor company focused on enabling a new generation of wireless extended reality, audio, gaming, human interface and IoT devices.

The company is building next generation short-range wireless communication devices. SPARK UWB provides high data rate and very low latency wireless communication links at an ultra-low power profile, making it ideal for personal area networks (PANs) used in mobile, consumer and IoT-connected products. Leveraging patented technologies, SPARK Microsystems strives to minimize and ultimately eliminate wires and batteries from a wide range of applications.

The company offers wireless transceivers, software development kits, hardware kits, and a SPARK headset reference platform.

About CES

CES will be held in Las Vegas, NV from January 9 – 12, 2024. You can learn more about the show and register to attend here. CES is a trade-only event for individuals affiliated with the consumer technology industry. I expect most of SemiWiki’s readers qualify for attendance. It is a show unlike any other, if you haven’t been there, consider registering. It will be an unforgettable trip and you’ll get to see the seven Silicon Catalyst companies to exhibit at CES, the most powerful tech event in the world.

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