Think Silicon secures investment round

Funding for tiny IP for tiny devices

Jon Peddie

Think Silicon based in Patras, Greece, was founded by George Sidiropoulos and Iakovos Stamoulis in 2007 with the vision to supply configurable IP semiconductor modules for complex SoCs. The company went on to develop IP for a line of low-power, powerful GPUs, and has developed a following over the years. 

Last week Metavallon VC announced they are leading the first investment round into Think Silicon. Metavallon VC is a €32 million venture capital firm that specializes in seed stage funding for technology companies. They are focused on fostering technology entrepreneurship in Greece. 

Think Silicon specializes in developing ultra-low power graphics units, display controller and machine learning accelerator technology for display/vision devices in applications with high performance and ultra-low power consumption needs.

Sidiropoulos said, with the exception of mobile phones, the human/machine interface is very poor on everyday devices and therefore he sees significant opportunities for Think Silicon’s graphics devices. In addition the market for low power, low-cost SoC is growing. 

Companies and are increasingly moving to a connected IoT/edge and consumers are adopting wearable devices. Display driven devices such as smart-/sports-/health watches, home appliances, automotive and industrial terminals require displays supported by high-quality graphics. The main challenge in these new device applications is power consumption, specifically when the power budget is limited, and the device is equipped with a limited battery. The company’s objective is to reduce power consumption while increasing battery life to make devices last longer without constantly searching for wall outlets or carrying heavy power banks.

Think Silicon’s flagship product family, the NEMA|GPU, addresses that need by offering a graphics solution for cost-effective SoCs. “That,” says Sidiropoulos, “allows fabless semiconductor technology companies to benefit from a tiny silicon footprint, low dynamic/leakage power, fast implementation cycle and rapid software development time which leads to significant cost savings.”

The company says it's patented technologies deliver high-quality graphics with a 10× improvement in power efficiency compared to any competitive GPU available on the market. 

In 2019 Think Silicon secured umbrella contracts for the development and licensing of its NEMA product family with worldwide industry leaders such as STMicroelectronics. In addition to supporting its current customer base, Think Silicon plans to release extended GPU and Display Controller IP for higher graphics performance segments, and also introduce machine learning IP technology for edge-applications, which leverages the company’s expertise in diverse power saving techniques.

Sidiropoulos said the funding will go towards solidification of the client base in North America, APAC and Europe, strengthening the pre- and post-sales support along with the development of new innovative products. The company is expanding its engineering team in Greece with additional hires in IC Design and Software groups at the Patras and Athens sites.

“Think Silicon's ambition is to become the leading low-power mobile graphics company and micro GPU supplier in the world. We are an integrative part and major contributor of the IoT paradigm with its vast opportunities. Power, performance and the graphical user interface (UI) all play a central role in the way humans are interacting and experiencing machines and devices. Our goal is to provide the chip design core that delivers the most positive interaction experience a human being can have. We’re excited to work with Metavallon VC to develop our technology and expand our products globally,” said founder George Sidiropoulos.