Startup that uses Lab-grown diamonds to power satellite communication raises $ 14.5 million

Lab-grown diamond
[Image Courtesy: Aerospace Manufacturing & Design, Akash Systems]

Industrial and scientific applications of diamonds, apart from their usage as gem and jewelry, are abundant whether it is Semiconductors, Waste and Water Management, Medical, Quantum Computing and so on . However, a San Francisco, USA-based startup Akash Systems has built a part of transistor – GaN-on-diamond that uses tens of nanometers of Lab-grown diamonds. This RF power amplifiers powers small satellites – CubeSats for communication links. The transmit/ receive radio modules of the satellites are designed to easily integrate with current ground stations and satellite infrastructure in all markets, and are claimed to give unprecedented communication performance.

 

Akash Systems, which focuses on developing and supplying these small satellites and power amplifiers, have recently raised $ 14.5 million in Series A funding round. This includes $ 10 million in new equity and $ 4.5 million of prior convertible notes converted in equity. The startup’s investors include Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, ACME Capital, Sriram Krishnan and Correlation Ventures. The company plans to utilize the new capital raised to scale its power amplifier and radio modules business, inching towards commercialization and profitability.

 

Felix Ejeckam – Co-founder, CEO & inventor of GaN-on-diamond says “Our aim is to be the RF communication link for every satellite in space”.

 

The Lab-grown diamonds used in the transistor significantly reduces the waste heat generated from the power amplifier and in turn the entire satellite since majority of the heat generated and power consumed is from RF power amplifier. This helps in improving the satellite’s communication bandwidth and also reducing its size, weight and operating costs due to energy efficiency. The company’s radio products are going to be available in market in Q4 of 2019.

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