Many initiatives begin life in Analog Devices’ emerging technology incubator, the Analog Garage. The Garage focuses on a wide variety of technologies the company believes will have high potential and impact, but for which a commercial opportunity might not yet exist. Analog Devices’ internal engineering teams can propose ideas and receive funding and resources for early-stage R&D work. The Garage also invests in high-potential startups, which receive the funding, mentoring, and engineering support to help bring their ideas to market.
Shey was no stranger to Analog Devices, working with them repeatedly over his long career. “Shey looked at Analog Devices as a full solutions and systems problem-solver, not a component parts vendor. So, he and CesiumAstro got involved with us early on,” said David Argiropoulos, Regional Sales and South Central U.S. & Latin America for Analog Devices.
Analog Devices furnished CesiumAstro with cutting edge commercial technology and domain expertise in RF beamforming, amplification and software-defined transceivers they needed. Analog Garage and Analog Devices Ventures helped CesiumAstro acquire Series A funding in the amount of $12.4 million, from a variety of sources, including lead investor Airbus Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Franklin Venture Partners, Lavrock Ventures, Analog Ventures, and Honeywell Ventures.
Many companies often start with highly specialized custom technology and find ways to reduce cost. Analog Devices helped CesiumAstro take the opposite approach. CesiumAstro used ADI’s complete RF to bits product portfolio and developed a method to integrate it in a very unique way. David Argiropoulos said, “Analog Devices developed phased array beamforming and communications technologies and has deep expertise in the domain. If some other company developed it from the ground up for CesiumAstro, they would have needed a lot more development time.”.
CesiumAstro has a size advantage -- they build small (Size, Weight, Power, and Cost – SwaPC). While small may not be an advantage on the basketball court, in the satellite world, the smaller the satellite’s components, the less it weighs, and the cheaper it is to launch into orbit – especially if it is a low Earth orbit vs. geostationary orbit.