Black Semiconductor secures funding to launch new semiconductor technology in Europe

2 mins read

Black Semiconductor, a developer of next-generation chip technology, has announced one of the largest funding rounds for a deep tech company manufacturing chips in Europe to date.

Credit: Black Semiconductor

The company has secured EUR 228.7mn in public funding  from the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia over the next 7 years under IPCEI ME/CT.

Alongside the public funding, Black Semiconductor has secured an additional EUR 25.7mn in equity funding which was led by Porsche Ventures and Project A Ventures, with participation from leading venture capital firms, corporates, and industry leaders including Scania Growth, Capnamic, Tech Vision Fonds, and NRW.BANK, joining the seed round investors Vsquared Ventures, Cambium Capital, and Hermann Hauser’s Onsight Ventures.

Founded in 2020 by Dr. Daniel Schall and Sebastian Schall, Black Semiconductor is developing a new way to build networks of chips leveraging graphene. These new chip networks will speed up data communication between chips – delivering improved levels of performance, improved energy-efficiency, and a significant reduction in manufacturing costs through 60% fewer production steps required.

Black Semiconductor is aiming to enable mass production of graphene semiconductors in full compliance with existing industry standards – which would be a pioneering achievement for the industry.

The company’s technology and hardware facilitate optical chip-to-chip connections, allowing chips to interact almost as if they were one. By overcoming current limitations in silicon chip architecture, this new technology looks to address existing barriers for transformative applications across industries, including efficient data centres, generative and embedded AI, and autonomous driving.

Dr. Daniel Schall, co-founder and CEO of Black Semiconductor, said, "We highly value the strong support of the government and investors to jointly advance the development of novel technologies in Europe. The investment enables us to drive our product development and 300 mm wafer pilot production facility forward at full speed. As traditional chip technology moves closer to its technological and economic limits, our innovation paves the way for faster, more powerful, cost-efficient, and energy-efficient computation.

“As part of IPCEI, we are committed to contributing to the semiconductor value chain in Europe. We believe that this investment, coupled with Europe's ambitious push to increase funding for deep tech companies, will inspire even greater participation from startups and industry players.”

Patrick Huke, Partner and Head of Porsche Ventures added, “Our lead investment in Black Semiconductor together with Project A represents a great opportunity, harnessing photonics technology seamlessly integrated into conventional chips for a variety of industries, use cases and future AI applications. Fuelled by a combination of public and private investors, the Black Semiconductor team is now in a great position to build a strong semiconductor business within Europe, strengthening not only our domestic competitiveness but also the overall European chip ecosystem.”

According to Black Semiconductor the new funding will help to accelerate its R&D initiatives and establish pilot line manufacturing capabilities in Aachen, Germany, an important step towards fulfilling its long-term goal of producing and implementing high-quality graphene in Europe.

The company plans to inaugurate a pilot manufacturing facility in Aachen by 2026, demonstrating the seamless integration of graphene into electronic chips.

Additionally, Black Semiconductor aims to increase its headcount, planning to create 90 new high-tech positions, boosting its total workforce from 30 to 120 by 2026.