Fabless Chipmaker Lansus Completes CNY 100 Million Series B+
COVID-19 and China
Image Credit: Andreas Lischka/Pixabay

Shenzhen-based RF power amplifier provider, Lansus Technologies (飞骧科技), has completed its Series B+ funding round, worth more than CNY 100 million (USD 14 million) led by Beijing-based investment bank CICC Capital (中金资本) and Suzhou-based investment company Oriza Holdings (禾厚望).

Founded in 2015, Lansus focuses on the development of RF PA components (electronics amplifiers that convert a low-power radio-frequency signal into a higher power signal), switch and radio-frequency front-end modules. 

The latest funding round is expected to support the company's research and development of 5G radio frequency amplifiers and to help to expand the existing 4G radiofrequency. 

Radio Frequency Power Amplifiers (RF AP) are key components in any electronic device transmission chain. These amplifiers can hold huge amounts of power in the transmission chain and tolerate large signal swings. It can be found in varieties of applications such as Wireless Communication, TV transmissions, Radar antennae, and satellites.

After this investment event, CICC Capital vice-chairman Chen Liqiang (陈立强) said to Chinese tech media company 36kr (KRKR: Nasdaq) that the funding would be primarily engaged to produce Lansus’ 5G RF AP, hoping for the first demand from the market in 2020.

In 2018, at the GTI summit of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, the company announced its cooperation with Chinese giant telecommunication firm China Mobile (CHL: NYSE). Lansus is set to join the 5G Terminal Pioneer Program, aiming to develop and mature the 5G terminal industry. Other semiconductor companies that have entered the program include the American-based firms Qorvo and Skyworks, and Japanese-based firm Taiyo Yuden. 

As the world advances toward the next-level sophistication of 5G technology, greedy market investors are striking new opportunities in the semiconductor industry. 

According to "Semiconductors: Trends and Startups 2019," a report released by EqualOcean which depicts the most significant semiconductor industry trends and presents 50 potentially game-changing startups that have proven their ability to grow and scale, estimates show that the global semiconductor market will reach USD 520 billion by 2023, up 21.21% from this year’s USD 429 billion. Other key points from the report include:

In the global market, the American counterparts seem to possess more advanced and sophisticated RF PA, and other semiconductor components. Early July, Akash System, San Francisco-based startup, raised USD 14.5 million in its Series A funding round.  The company has built an RF power amplifier (GaN-on-Diamond, which uses tens of nanometers of lab-grown diamonds) that powers small satellites for better communication performance.

Despite the fact that Chinese semiconductor firms are still behind their overseas counterparts, investors are optimistic about the future of the domestic semiconductors market, and plan to invest heavily in chipmaking facilities to reduce the reliance on foreigners' chips, according to Deloitte's "TMT Predictions 2019 report." 

The report estimated that revenues for semiconductors manufactured in China would grow 25 % to approximately USD110 billion in 2019, from an estimated USD 85 billion in 2018. Therefore, Deloitte predicts that, in 2019, Chinese chipmakers will begin producing semiconductors specialized in supporting AI and Machine Learning (ML) tasks.

The future might be bright for the domestic manufacturers "backed" by government initiatives and joint coordination as the country becomes a massive tech hub in the Asian region, attracting every year tens of millions dollars through the chip industry, especially when it comes to 5G technology development, with strong coordination between the state and startup companies.

*Contributor: Ivan Platonov | Editor: Luke Sheehan

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