Semiconductor company engages new investor for smart grid run

Accent, a semiconductor solutions provider, has raised 5 million euros ($6.9 million) from Tallwood Venture Capital that will go into expediting production of system-on-chip communication technologies for the next-generation smart grid.

The series B funding comes as smart grid deployments continue to increase globally. According to Pike Research, smart meters will grow to be a $3.9 billion global market by 2015, with penetration still at a modest 18 percent of total installed electric meters.

Countries’ shift toward efficient, reliable and bi-directional power distribution and transmission infrastructure drives the continued development of smarter grids.

«This funding will enable us to accelerate market introduction of next-generation smart grid technologies, as part of our ASMgrid offering, and continue to optimally address the needs of our customers worldwide,» said Federico Arcelli, Accent’s chief executive.

Accent provides solutions for semiconductor integration of communication and metering technologies for the smart grid industry. It has operations in Italy, China, France and United States.

Accent said its ASMgrid is a flexible, modular silicon platform that can be integrated into a wide range of equipment and products. The platform already supports the Zigbee wireless communication protocol for homes, among other metering functions.

«We were attracted by Accent’s ability to innovate the semiconductor landscape for smart grid equipment manufacturers, providing tangible performance and cost benefits,” said Luis Arzubi, general partner at Tallwood Venture Capital, a Silicon Valley investor.

“The closure of this funding is a strong endorsement of our global market reach and technology position,» Mr. Arcelli noted.

Accent was established in 1993 as a joint venture between ST Microelectronics and Cadence Design Systems. It is also funded by Sofinnova Partners.



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