Evince Technology (Evince) has been awarded a second Innovate UK grant to help advance the development of a diamond-based vacuum electron source or cold cathode: a critical step on the company’s technology roadmap.
The grant will see Evince working with TMD Technologies (TMD) – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-power amplifier tubes and systems – and Newcastle University on a 12 month project to apply its proprietary electron injection technology to create a ‘zero-wear’ source. This is made possible because the electron-emitting structure will be fully embedded within a synthetic diamond substrate, effectively isolating it from the vacuum and any risk of erosion.
The REDEFINE project, which is being supported by Innovate UK the UK’s innovation agency, will also help Evince to accelerate the development of a specific structural element that will be used as the company continues to develop increasingly complex synthetic diamond-based devices.
“This latest project makes full use of Evince’s platform technology while potentially opening up significant new markets for us that are looking for ultra-stable, high brightness electron sources, such as high frequency communications, high energy physics and advanced materials processing. The work will also advance our progress towards controllable solid-state diamond-based devices that could offer significant cost and performance benefits over today’s silicon-based approaches for high power applications,” said Gareth Taylor, CEO of Evince.
Vacuum tubes are still the preferred method of amplifying microwaves for radar and satellite communication applications but the problem is that current devices rely on the use of hot filament technology as an electron source, limiting performance and operating lifetimes. A cold cathode source would eliminate the need for heating, potentially increasing tube life and efficiency, and could set a new performance benchmark for vacuum microwave tubes allowing them to be used for the first time in a number of major new markets.
REDEFINE was one of only 12 projects to successfully receive funding in a £4 million Innovate UK competition designed to encourage the use of compound semiconductors for large and scalable commercial applications. The project has already started and is due to complete in early 2018.
Evince Technology (Evince) has today confirmed the appointment of John Urwin as the new chairman of its board of directors. He joins with over 30 years’ experience of working in the global semiconductor industry, and brings an extensive network of industry contacts that will be invaluable as Evince moves forward with the development of its breakthrough technologies for synthetic diamond-based electronics.
John has been instrumental in helping to accelerate the growth and development of a range of technology-based businesses in Europe and UK – from start-ups to multi-national corporations – and has a powerful blend of strategic, commercial and technical engineering skills. In addition to his new role at Evince, he is chairman of Adaptive Array Systems and has held non-executive directorships with Arctic Silicon Devices, Cambridge CMOS Sensors, Jennic and Pyreos. Earlier in his career he was operations director on the board of Wolfson Microelectronics when the company’s annual sales grew from US $2M to $230M, and it floated on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
Evince CEO Gareth Taylor said: “John is a significant addition to Evince who will play a pivotal role in helping to shape our technology development and ‘route to market’ strategies. He is also the first of a number of key appointments we are planning to make over the next few months.”
John Urwin said: “Evince has a compelling technology that can enable a wide range of synthetic diamond-based devices and potentially offering unprecedented performance levels over silicon and other technologies. I am excited to be part of Evince at this stage in its development and at the prospect of working with Gareth, his team and the company’s committed investors on the challenges ahead.”
John succeeds Phil Cammerman who was appointed as chairman in 2012 to help Evince restructure and relaunch its business, and will remain as a member of the Evince board. His achievements include: refocusing the company’s business model on core technology developments and licensing, rather than device design and manufacture; expanding its potential target applications beyond energy and power; and helping to secure £750,000 of new equity investment earlier this year, together with a £230,000 Innovate UK grant in September 2015.
Evince Technology (Evince), which is developing breakthrough technologies to enable the manufacture of synthetic diamond-based electronics, has today announced that the company has successfully closed its largest and most significant funding round to date.
The company has raised £750,240 of new equity investment from business angels and other private investors. A quarter of the total was raised via Syndicate Room in just 10 days (£189K) resulting in the round being over-funded by £100K, which was the maximum agreed by the company at the outset. This latest investment, together with a £230K Innovate UK award secured in late 2015, will allow Evince to accelerate key aspects of its technology development programme while continuing to strengthen its patent portfolio.
Lead investor James Morton said: “Following extensive due diligence our investor group believes Evince has a unique practical approach to realising electronics using synthetic diamond. Diamond offers the potential to yield devices that are up to 100x faster than silicon and could therefore revolutionise electronics across a broad range of industries and multi-billion dollar markets. Our investment decision was based amongst other things on the professionalism of the company’s approach, its passion and determination to succeed, and in particular its rigorous development programme to deliver first prototype solid-state diamond electronic devices.”
Evince chairman Phil Cammerman said: “This latest funding round is a major milestone in the company’s development. It is the largest new investment since Evince restructured its business in 2013 and a significant endorsement for the company’s strategy and technology. Our aim is to work more closely with partners across a wide range of target applications where we believe our novel diamond technology has the potential to deliver the quantum leap in performance over silicon that the industry is urgently looking for.”
Evince was re-launched in 2013 to focus on development of a robust core technology and to expand its target applications, whereas previously the company had planned to develop and market its own products for the power and energy sectors. The new strategy will see the company work with partners to define products and target applications, then licence its patented synthetic diamond processing technologies to their semiconductor manufacturing partners.
Evince is pleased to announce that it today closed the first half of a new round of equity investment led by business angels. Together with a £230k Innovate UK award won last year, the investment secures the funding that will allow the company to complete the next stage of its development programme. Over the coming 12 months two prototype solid-state diamond electronic devices will be developed which fully demonstrate the potential of Evince's ground-breaking synthetic-diamond device technology.
Lead investor, James Morton said, "Diamond’s potential as a critical component of the new electronic age of renewable energy and hybrid/electric transport is widely recognised. Our investor group consulted widely to confirm that Evince has a unique practical approach to realising electronics using synthetic-diamond. Diamond offers the potential to yield devices able to perform 100x better than silicon and could therefore revolutionise electronics in applications across multiple, multi-billion dollar markets. Our decision to invest was based on a number of factors beyond the technology including the company’s professional approach; its strong patented IP; and, in particular, the rigorous development programme it is embarking upon to deliver the first prototype solid-state diamond electronic devices.”
Evince chairman, Phil Cammerman said, "The past year has seen Evince go through a sea change in the way we want to seek, engage and work with partners to take our technology to market. This is already starting to generate significant interest. After looking at various funding routes, we decided to go for the angel option. The angel group led by James brings not only investment but significant wisdom from their diverse background. However we are not being complacent and the books are still open for a second close of the current round. This additional money will allow the company to accelerate the development of additional prototypes and to expand engagement with potential partners."