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May 25, 2023

Meet Stathera: Resetting the $9B+ Timing Chips Market

Meet Stathera: Resetting the $9B+ Timing Chips Market

Most technology solutions that involve CPUs or other logic require a very stable internal time reference, called a timing chip. The same is true for any device or system that utilizes technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth. The purpose of timing chips is to synchronize all the logic operations and provide a standard frequency for radio communications. In short, timing chips make sure our electronics work by helping the various internal moving parts and processes all work together harmoniously. 

Timing chips are used in a wide variety of applications, such as timing circuits, data transmission, and synchronization, as well as in many electronic devices, such as computers, mobile phones, and watches. The increasing demand for these devices is driving the growth of the timing chips market, which is expected to reach about $11.5 billion by 2026. 

This continued growth is being driven by the increasing demand for timing chips in various end-use industries, such as consumer electronics, automotive, and industrial. The automotive industry alone leverages timing chips for an increasing set of applications, including engine control units, anti-lock braking systems, and electronic stability control systems. 

Stathera is going beyond merely entering a hot market – they are advancing MEMS technology as well.

Until recently, quartz crystal technology was used to provide this all-important clock signal in the vast majority of timing chips, which has been the case for many decades. However, as new use cases continue to demand higher stability, lower cost, and smaller chip sizes, quartz has struggled to deliver. 

Stathera is an emerging innovator in this space, delivering precisely these advantages with its advanced Micro ElectroMechanical System (MEMS) technology. Celesta was excited to co-lead Stathera’s recent $15 million Series A funding round, alongside BDC Capital, and with additional participation from major industry players like MediaTek, Seiko Epson, and TXC. 

Celesta and our other co-investors believe the Stathera team and their technology will quickly gain market share. I’d like to share more about why. 

First, MEMS timing chips offer significant advantages that quartz chips simply cannot deliver. Key among these include having a much smaller size and lower power consumption, making them ideal for use in smaller and portable battery-powered devices. MEMS chips also have higher reliability than traditional timing chips because they are less susceptible to temperature and environmental changes.

These inherent advantages are why MEMS timing chips are becoming the preferred technology for next-generation applications including smartphones, wearables, IOT devices, aerospace, medical devices, and more. While MEMS timing chips account for only about $400 million of the overall timing chips market today, the MEMS market is rapidly growing its market share, with an estimated CAGR of 40% versus 5% for traditional timing chips from 2022 - 2026. 

But Stathera is going beyond merely entering into a hot market – they are advancing MEMS technology as well.

Most electronic devices need at least one timing chip, if not two, or even more. Stathera, however, has developed a patented technology for using one MEMS structure as the source of two independent frequencies. This eliminates the need for two chips in many applications, offering a significant benefit for any manufacturer in need of this technology. 

Additionally, the market for MEMS chips is currently dominated by a single supplier with 85 percent of the growing market. Many customers in this space are clamoring for new innovation and suppliers who can offer alternatives to the stale monopoly. 

Stathera is guided by a knowledgeable and talented team as well, which I’ve had the pleasure to get to know over the past few months. Like many early startups, Stathera’s founder and CEO, George Xereas, is a key inventor of the technology and has the passion to drive his new innovations to market. They’ve also built a strong network of advisors and partners, including a board of directors which I am happy to join following Celesta’s Series A participation. 

To recap: Stathera is entering into a rapidly-growing market, hungry for new solutions, with superior technology, and a strong team. In other words, all of the important pieces are synchronizing in order for them to achieve great things.

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