Qualinx raises €8m to bring digital RF technology to market

21st February 2023
Kiera Sowery

Qualinx has announced its Series A investment of €8 million by FORWARD.one, InnovationQuarter Capital and Waterman Ventures.

Founded as a spin-off from Delft University of Technology and supported by earlier investments from Delft Enterprises, the company developed and successfully tested a new radio chip that can receive geo-positioning information from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) with a 10 times lower power consumption, smaller chip size and at reduced costs compared to existing solutions. The chip is able to detect signals from all major satellite systems including GPS, to accurately determine location and time.

Qualinx’s core innovations are patent protected and 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, and thereby a significant reduction in the chip’s 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”, said Tom Trill, CEO at Qualinx. “The QLX300+ will use as much as 10 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 is not just limited to GNSS; it can be implemented to create any radio. For example, Qualinx's second-generation product, the QLX400, will combine GNSS with an Internet-of-Things (IoT) radio on a single chip, to track and communicate a location while barely consuming any power.

Nowadays physical assets, regardless of size, must be monitored at all times. As Trill explained: “There is global concern about the security of any asset, especially when it moves. Shipping a product from warehouse to store without breakpoints in connectivity currently requires a multi-chip solution to provide seamless connectivity between classic GNSS and ground based IoT radios. We offer a single-chip solution that can do both. It is universally applicable, affordable and has an ultra-low power budget.”

“We are proud and excited to partner with Qualinx alongside our co-investors”, said Arjan Göbel, partner at FORWARD.one. “Not often do we see such a fundamental step-change in technology development addressing a large, global and future proof market. Adding their top-tier and fast-growing team to the equation, we are convinced that Qualinx has the potential to replace all existing GNSS and radio communications technology.”

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