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Chipmaker Mobix Preps To Ship First Product

Chip startup company Mobix Labs Inc. in Irvine says it’s ahead of its business plan on several key points, and recently added another pair of heavy local hitters, Syntiant Corp.’s Kurt Busch and Octane’s Bill Carpou, to a board that’s already filled with notable names in the semiconductor space.

Mobix Chief Executive Fabian Battaglia told the Business Journal on June 3 that “on our business and products side, it’s going very well” for the company formed just last year to serve the 5G wireless market.

The company came out of stealth mode in February, announcing it had raised $12.5 million in funds, along with backers such as Jim “Jimmy P” Peterson, who is Mobix Labs’ board chairman and former CEO of Aliso Viejo’s Microsemi Corp.  

Other Mobix board members include Dave Aldrich, former chairman and former CEO of Irvine’s Skyworks Solutions Inc., Orange County’s third-largest public company (Nasdaq: SWKS), and Rick Goerner, former executive vice president of marketing and sales at Microsemi.

Mobix Labs calls itself a “fabless semiconductor company focused on the 5G millimeter wave wireless market.” Fabless generally means the company designs and sells the chips but does not manufacture them, instead outsourcing the fabrication to a manufacturing plant or foundry.

Next Up

More’s on the way for the company, the CEO said.
“We’re going to be shipping our first product this month, by the end of this quarter. That’ll be a revenue-generating quarter,” Battaglia said. “We’re ahead of plan on several key metrics.”  

Put most basically, Mobix Labs is developing the building blocks necessary for simplifying the design of next-generation 5G wireless products that are expected to revolutionize communications.

Battaglia said the product being readied for shipment—a chip antenna—is important for near-term revenue, and also paves the way for a talk with customers about the Mobix core product, called the “beamformer millimeter wave solution.”

“These chip antennas provide us a good vehicle to have a discussion with the customers that are also developing in the millimeter wave space,” Battaglia said.

He said the antennas form an additional, complementary line.

“Our main focus is on the millimeter wave space with our beamformer devices and associated circuitry around the beamformer which we’re developing as well,” according to Battaglia.

Mobix said on June 8 it had entered into a distribution agreement with Acromax Inc., a distributor of semiconductors and solutions in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The agreement includes Mobix Labs beamformers, antenna solutions and analog/radio frequency semiconductors. 

Capitalization Plan

Battaglia said that probably in the October-December quarter “we’re looking at another capitalization event.”

“Every option is on the table right now,” Battaglia said.

Possibilities include venture capital money, a SPAC-variety of “reverse merger into an existing Nasdaq type company,” an IPO through the Canadian market, or going to the U.S. over-
the-counter market, he said.

Battaglia said in February that the company’s initial investors are a combination of industry leaders along with what he called “strategics” that will become customers or “channel partners.”

Battaglia called Busch, the chief executive of fellow Irvine chip technology co. Syntiant, and Carpou, the CEO of Octane, the Aliso Viejo-based business accelerator for technology and life sciences, “outstanding members to have on our board.”

“They’re very active and supportive.”

Along with the other members, “it’s really a dream team board,” according to Battaglia. 

Kevin Costelloe
Kevin Costelloe
Tech reporter at Orange County Business Journal
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