EnVerv Raises $12 Million to Advance Power Line Communications Chips

12/19/11Follow @bvbigelow

EnVerv, a chip design firm based in San Jose, CA, says this morning it has raised $12 million in a Series B round for its “system-on-a-chip” technology, which enables a utility to use its own power lines to serve as a smart grid communications network.

Benchmark Capital led the new round, which was joined by existing investors New Enterprise Associates and Walden International. The proceeds will go toward further development and working capital.

Reza Mirkhani, the company’s San Diego-based founder, is now EnVerv’s president and chief operating officer. Since I talked with Mirkhani about EnVerv and its strategy earlier this year, EnVerv’s executive chairman, Shahin Hedayat, the former co-founder and CEO of Santa Clara, CA-based Beceem Communiations, has stepped in as CEO. (Irvine, CA-based Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) acquired Beceem for more than $310 million in October 2010.)

EnVerv continues to maintain a San Diego office and also has established an office in China.

The fabless semiconductor company says it has developed and delivered a range of high-performance power line communication (PLC) modems for utility smart meters, PLC head-end modems, display modems, smart homes, solar panel control and monitoring, and other applications. In recent months, EnVerv says it has been field testing its products in cooperation with its customers and utilities.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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