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Adapt -- 802.11ah WiFi HaLow ICs  
Founded: Jan 2009
Status: Private
Source: Semiconductor Times, 8/19

Adapt was founded in 2009 to create low power USB IP. In 2016, the company pivoted to focus its efforts on 802.11ah WiFi HaLow IP, developing the HaLow baseband and more recently the MAC layer.

As an IP company, to date the company has raised roughly $4 million from insiders and external investors. Adapt is currently seeking $4 to $5 million to produce its SoC and support business development operations through 2021. The company has less than 10 employees plus several consultants.

A wireless protocol serving a large-scale M2M deployment requires long range measured in kilometers, low power battery life measured in years, low cost, adequate bandwidth, reliable communications, and strong security. Adapt believes no current wireless protocol satisfies these requirements. The WiFi 802.11ah standard, known as HaLow, was created to enables large-scale applications.

Adapt’s solutions address the key requirements for large-scale industrial IoT deployments, built on the IEEE 802.11ah HaLow standard. Adapt is developing the HaLow subsystem, consisting of three layers: an analog radio, a digital baseband, and a software/hardware Media Access Control (MAC) layer. Adapt is developing the digital hardware and the software. The analog radio will be licensed from a third party. The Adapt family of HaLow products consists of:

• HaLow Development Platform (HDP): an FPGA-based development package for early adopters to prototype IoT networks, available now for $50,000.

• HaLow Platform Chip: an SoC with the I/Os and processing power to deliver IoT data for years using a small battery, and which can also be used to add HaLow capability to existing WiFi or Cellular infrastructure. The SoC will integrates the radio, baseband, MAC, RISC-V processor, memory, and sensor interfaces, and will be one of the first certified HaLow SoCs, according to the company. This chip is projected to tape out in Q4’19 and is targeted to be available in production quantities in H2’20.

The most significant competitive protocol is NB-IoT, a new protocol based on LTE. The biggest disadvantage of NB-IoT is that it requires that data be transmitted through the cellular network, requiring a subscription charge for all connected devices. Bluetooth and Zigbee mesh networks sometimes try to fill this market requirement but have scalability and deployment issues. Plus, they operate in crowded 2.4GHz spectrum.

Adapt is a member of the WiFi Alliance and has participated in each of the HaLow Plugfests and testing events, starting in 2017. Four small, emerging companies aside from Adapt have made known their intentions to make HaLow products. Four large companies, Qualcomm, Intel, Realtek, and HP, participate in the HaLow working group meetings but are not known to have HaLow products in development. Adapt believes it will be in the first wave of companies to have WiFi Alliance certified HaLow products available.

Adapt is currently deeply engaged with companies exploring business opportunities. Revenue projections for 2019 and 2020 are dominated by sales of the HDP systems along with NRE for customization. Chip revenue is targeted to start ramping in H2’20, with projected 2022 revenue of $30 million.

Michael McNamara, CEO (VP & GM System Level Design at Cadence and SVP Technology at Verisity Design via the acquisition of SureFire Verification where he served as Founder, President & CEO)

Farhad Mighani, Ph.D. VP of IoT (previously Head of R&D, Sr. Director at Cavium. Co-founder of 5 startups of which 2 had successful exits and was responsible for more than 20 chip tape-outs)

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