February 16, 2006 – Leuven, Belgium-based fabless company Essensium NV, a spin-off of Europe’s Interuniversity Microelectronics Center (IMEC) R&D consortium, has secured ?6 million (about US $7.1 million) from Khazanah Nasional, the parent company of Malaysian wafer foundry Silterra, and sister investment firm Atlantic Quantum.
Essensium acts as an aggregator of system-on-chip (SoC) products for OEMs, design houses, and ASSP suppliers, many also based in Belgium. It aims to further build on its SoC expertise to develop wireless sensor network products, with components including a broadband radio, baseband processor, precision positioning engine, and advanced networking capabilities all integrated in an ultralow-power SoC.
Essensium was founded in March 2005 by IMEC, with starting capitalization of ?1.1 million (~$1.5 million). Founder and CEO Johan Danneels was chairman of IMEC from 2000-2005, and is a former group VP of STMicroelectronics. Other execs heading up operations, bizdev, and wireless sensor development also hail from ST’s Belgium operation. Patrick Vandenameele, overseeing technology and engineering, came on board from RF Micro Devices.