Car connectivity startup Aviva raises $26.5M in new funding

Automotive connectivity startup Aviva Technology Holding has driven itself into the limelight today, announcing a $26.5 million funding led by the founders of chipmaker Marvell Technology Group, Dr. Sehat Sutardja and Weili Dai.

Other prominent semiconductor industry investors also took part in the Series A round, bringing Aviva’s total amount raised to more than $33 million.

The company, which does business under the name of Aviva Links, is working on a secretive “highly integrated circuit solution” that it says will enable low-latency, multigigabit data-sharing in connected cars.

It’s certainly needed. As Aviva notes, the automotive industry is rapidly undergoing a transformation as cars become ever more connected with autonomous driving systems, telematics and infotainment.

If those fancy new systems are going to work, and get human passengers safely from A to B, then vehicles will need a way to ensure vast amounts of data can be transferred fast enough to the different moving parts. An autonomous car, for example, is 100% reliant on the information it receives from sensors and cameras, and that data needs to be sent to the vehicle’s “brain” in real-time if accidents are to be avoided.

Aviva Links co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Kamal Dalmia told SiliconANGLE that high-speed data transfer will be at the heart of all modern vehicles, and that enabling that has been a significant barrier for most other companies.

“Today’s existing chips were designed for the pre-self-driving era that needed only basic functionality for things such as backup cameras,” Dalmia said. “Nowadays, the market needs solutions for moving high-resolution uncompressed data for machine vision to realize Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and infotainment functions.”

Aviva is not ready to go into the specifics of its technology at this state, but Dalmia promised that its chips are made using “highly advanced digital communication techniques that facilitate low-latency data movement at very high speeds.”

“The demand for Aviva’s technology is growing rapidly and we are engaged with several global and market-leading customers designing next-generation vehicles,” Aviva Links co-founder and Chief Executive David Young said in a statement. “The Aviva solution addresses this significant market need with a highly integrated circuit solution that finally makes low-latency multigigabit data sharing in vehicles a reality.”

Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller told SiliconANGLE there will surely be a lot of demand for Aviva’s promised solution, assuming it performs as well as the company claims.

“The future of the connected car will depend on many things, some of which we may not even know about yet,” Mueller said. “But one thing we know for sure is connected cars will need the ability to transfer large amounts of data, both within the car and with other vehicles and data centers.”

As part of today’s funding arrangement, Sutardja announced he’s taking a seat on Aviva’s board of directors to help support its growth.

“Secured high-speed data transfer inside vehicles is critical for the next wave of intelligent autonomous vehicles and the Aviva solution meets the challenge needed for this explosive market,” he said.

With the fresh capital under its belt, Aviva Links is aiming to speed up product development and presumably get its first chips out to customers for testing. At the same time, it will expand its sales and marketing teams.

Image: Aviva

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