Semiconductor Value Chain

Crocus Raises $45M to Fund Magnetic Semiconductor Technology

16 July 2013

Crocus Technology, a developer of magnetically enhanced semiconductor technologies for mobile security, embedded microcontrollers, harsh environment electronics and magnetic sensors has raised EUR 34 million (about $45 million) in additional capital.

A new private investor, Industrial Investors, joined the round led by Idinvest Partners. Major investors Sofinnova Ventures, Innovation Capital, Nanodimension, and Ventech participated, underscoring seven years' support. Rusnano, the Russian government hi-tech entity also took part.

The new funding enables Crocus to significantly ramp up manufacturing at TowerJazz Semiconductors as well as qualify its jointly owned fab, Crocus Nano Electronics, and release the first engineering wafers during the summer of 2013.

The additional funding is also slated to accelerate the development of Generation 3 technology for Crocus' secure microcontrollers with its partner IBM.

The company plans to use some of the money to launch a magnetic sensor product line, which leverages the same Magnetic Logic Unit (MLU) manufacturing platform technology, in a market expected to reach $2 billion per year mark in the near term, according to Crocus.??

"Crocus is now fully funded to deliver on the last key milestone in the industrial processing of its now mature Magnetic Logic Unit technology," said Bertrand Cambou, CEO and executive chairman of Crocus Technology. "Combined with our steadily growing licensing and services business, we anticipate reaching cash flow break-even point by the end of next year."

Crocus pioneered the development of the CMOS-based rugged MLU technology for a range of next-generation electronics. The French-based company was founded in 2004 and has offices in Santa Clara, California, and in Grenoble and Gardanne, France.

It co-owns Crocus Nano Electronics, a Russian-based advanced magnetic semiconductor manufacturing facility, with Rusnano. The company has reportedly received significant funding from Rusnano, the Russian investment company owned by the Russian government.

In October 2011, Crocus and IBM entered a joint development and cross license agreement to develop magnetic semiconductor technology that combines Crocus' MLU technology with IBM's MRAM materials and processing capabilities.

The company is led by a senior management team that has high-level industry experience forged at semiconductor companies Motorola, AMD, Intel, Texas Instruments and Gemalto, the French smart card company.

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