US giants among investors in Cork computer chip company with €4m raised
POWERVATION, a Cork-based designer and producer of ultra energy-saving computer chips (pictured right), used in the data centres of firms such as Google and Amazon that power the internet, has just raised €4m from Intel and others.
The finance was raised from five investors including industry heavyweights Intel and Semtech Corporation, a large US player in the industry which has annual sales of €480m.
Powervation's key founders in 2007 were Dr Karl Rinne, a lecturer at the University of Limerick and his then research student Dr Eamon O'Malley, and it has raised over €25m to date.
The company is understood to be growing substantially and currently employs 35 people, with 20 in Cork and the remainder in California and Taiwan.
"Data centre-powered cloud-computing is changing the whole world and it's driving innovation and sales of high-performance products in our industry. Intel supply 95 per cent of all the processors for data centres and we work closely with them," chief executive Mike McAuliffe said.
"Computer chips that are manufactured by our customers in Taiwan would end up in the data centres of Google, Amazon and Facebook. They design and put together their servers, switches and switchgear and of course some of them end up in their data centres here in Ireland.
"There are three million data centres worldwide and the industry is growing by 30 per cent a year. These companies are investing in efficiency and getting the maximum computing capacity into a chip. Our tagline is intelligent digital power: more efficient computer chips means less heat generated and it saves energy and that's good for data centres," he added.
"The companies we compete against are huge, employing either hundreds or thousands of people."