(By Balachander) Intel Corp.'s (NASDAQ: INTC) Intel Capital and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Capital have invested $23 million in Sand 9 Inc., a Cambridge-based startup that develops products based on micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology for wireless devices.
Sand 9 - founded in 2007 - said it will utilize the funds to commercialize its first product TCMO, ramp volume production and boost its product portfolio.
The Series C funding was led by Intel Capital with significant participation from Vulcan Capital. Both firms join existing investors Commonwealth Capital Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, General Catalyst Partners, Khosla Ventures and CSR.
According to Sand 9, MEMS timing devices are "miniature machines" that ensure stable operation in smartphones, tablets, and telecom equipments.
David Flanagan, managing director, Intel Capital said Sand 9's MEMS technology has the potential to substantially improve the performance of mobile devices while making them easier to design and manufacture.
"The MEMS oscillator market is still at a nascent stage, representing less than one percent of the total timing market of $6.3 billion," said Tony Massimini, chief of technology, Semico Research.
In 2011, Intel Capital invested US$526 million in 158 investments with roughly 51 percent of funds invested outside the U.S. and Canada.