Company Logo Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sirific Wireless keen to start production

With $18.8M US in newly-secured funding, firm will soon be making next-generation chips

MATT WALCOFF

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Sirific Wireless says it expects to begin production of its next-generation computer chips for mobile devices later this year now that it has secured $18.8 million US in funding from Texas oilman Ray Hunt's venture-capital firm.

Sirific, founded by former University of Waterloo Prof. Tajinder Manku, announced its latest round of funding on Monday.

The company's chips should be ready for production in the second quarter of the year, said Kiran Konanur, the company's vice-president for sales and marketing.

Sirific will then just have to wait for the products that will include Sirific's chips to themselves be certified for manufacture, Konanur said.

Using advanced semiconductor technology, Sirific's 49-square-millimetre chips -- about the size of a man's pinky fingernail -- can perform more functions and use less battery power than chips of the same size that use less-advanced technology, Konanur said.

That functionality and economy is essential to 3G and 3.5G mobile computing devices, which use much-faster networks than the ones most mobile devices use today.

Sirific expects revenue of about $10 million in its first year of chip production, Konanur said.

Sirific is based in Richardson, Texas, but about half of its nearly 50 employees work in Waterloo.

The chips themselves will be mass-produced in Taiwan, Konanur said.

Manku founded the company in 2000. Before its latest round of funding, it had received a combined $44.2 million in funding from several sources, including Tech Capital Partners Inc. of Waterloo.

Sirific's latest investor, Hunt Ventures, was founded by Ray Hunt in 1998. Hunt Ventures managing partner Jeff Williams has joined Sirific's board of directors.

mwalcoff@therecord.com

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