Delft-based Qualinx raises €8M to market ultra-low power tracking chip

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Qualinx has announced a Series A investment of 8 million euros by Forward.one, Innovationquarter Capital and Waterman Ventures. Founded as a spinoff from Delft University of Technology and supported by earlier funding from Delft Enterprises, the company developed and successfully tested a new radio chip that can receive geo-positioning information with a ten times lower power consumption, smaller chip size and at reduced costs compared to existing solutions. The chip can detect signals from all major satellite systems including GPS, to accurately determine location and time.

Qualinx’s executive team (from left to right): Iman Madadi (CIO), Tom Trill (CEO), Massoud Tohidian (CTO) and Amir Reza Ahmadi Mehr (SVP Engineering). Credit: Qualinx

Qualinx’s patent-protected core innovations originate from the founders’ PhD research in Digital Radio Frequency (DRF) technology. DRF makes it possible to transfer a significant part of the chip’s analog area to the digital domain and enables CMOS scaling for GPS-like radios. This allows for significant reductions in power consumption, size and cost price.

“Our next step is to launch the QLX300+, a system-on-chip featuring the world’s smallest and most power-efficient GNSS sensor,” says Qualinx CEO Tom Trill. “The QLX300+ will use as much as ten times less energy than currently available GNSS devices in the market and will be in mass production next year. As a result of the improved efficiency, the battery life of, for example, fitness trackers and smartwatches can be extended from hours to several days.”

The technology can be implemented to create any radio. Qualinx’s second-generation product, the QLX400, will combine GNSS with an IoT radio on a single chip, to track and communicate the location while barely consuming any power. It can be used to monitor physical assets, for example. “Shipping a product from warehouse to store currently requires a multi-chip solution to provide connectivity without breakpoints between classic GNSS and ground-based IoT radios,” Trill explains. “We offer a single-chip solution that can do both. It’s universally applicable, affordable and has an ultra-low power budget.”