NICTA spin-off shows off GiFi

NICTA spin-off company Nitero has begun showing off its 60GHz Wi-Fi to the industry, as part of a fund-raising exercise for the company

Nitero, a spin-off company of Australian research organisation National ICT Australia (NICTA), has begun demonstrating its 60GHz Wi-Fi chipset technology to the industry as part of plans to raise capital.

The chip had been in development for the last six years by NICTA and the Victorian Research Laboratory. The low-power 60GHz chip could be up to 10 times faster than current Wi-Fi chips, achieving speeds of up to 5Gbps. It could potentially replace HDMI cables in the home or office, and could cost as little as AU$10.

NICTA spun off the company last year , with AU$1.4 million-worth of funding from Commercialisation Australia.

The company is now based in Austin, Texas, with a design centre in Melbourne, Australia.

Nitero announced overnight that it has begun demonstrating the technology to the industry and that Trailblazer Capital has also come on as an investment partner with Southern Cross Venture Partners and Austin Ventures, to provide more capital for the company to develop its technology.

According to Nitero CEO Patrick Kelly, the company already met its first round of funding targets, and was now looking to build on that.

"Many said we couldn't run a semiconductor company and get to a meaningful milestone on the amount we raised in our first round," Kelly said. "Our demo clearly proves this viewpoint was wrong."

Southern Cross Ventures managing partner Dr Larry Marshall said Nitero showed off the best of Australian innovation.

"Nitero is a great example of technology mining in Australia, when a unique Australian invention like Wi-Fi is united with experienced Australian and US co-investors, a proven management team and strong government support through NICTA and Commercialisation Australia, to create a truly disruptive innovation," he said.

Nitero had indicated in 2011 that the product would be released this year. ZDNet asked whether the company is still on track to meet this goal, but no response had been received at the time of writing.


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