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Trident IoT Launches New AI Company

TECH: Raises $10M, Releasing New Products

CARLSBAD – The silicon provider and RF technology company Trident IoT has announced it has raised $10 million in funding, has launched a new AI company and is preparing to release products in January.

The year-old startup will use the funds to expand its silicon/hardware solutions development, engineering support and certification preparation. CEO and co-founder Michael Lamb said the company isn’t seeking more money but is looking for talent.

Michael Lamb
CEO & Co-founder
Trident IoT

The latest fundraising round was led by Vivint Smart Home founder and CEO Todd Pedersen, who will join the Trident IoT board of directors. Before its launch in April 2023, the company raised $6.7 million from people in the industry and past investors.

The company’s focus is across the gamut of IoT (Internet of Things) and connectivity platforms, including the wireless communications protocols Z-Wave, Zigbee, Thread, Matter, LoRa and more.

“Each different type of industry has their own protocol, and we play in all of those worlds,” Lamb said. “If you want to build a LoRa sensor, we make the sensor that allows you to communicate with all the other devices. If you’re in the Z-Wave world, we make the chip that allows the door lock to talk to the security system that can talk to the thermostat.”

Products with End-User in Mind

Lamb said the small startup is competing against huge companies like Texas Instruments and Microchip Technology, but Trident IoT stands out because its designs are with the end-user in mind.

“We’re the only company that’s providing all the tools from concept to certification,” he said. “From beginning to end, we can get you from 18 to 24 months of engineering to six to eight months for the same product, so it costs you less to make and you get to market sooner.”

For a client that wants to build a smart thermostat, for instance, Lamb said Trident IoT will design a board layout, schematic, code, RF tuning and other tools to create it.

“Where Trident is different is, we’ve built thousands of these devices,” Lamb said.

The company’s initial focus was on companies manufacturing devices with Z-Wave technology, which is used primarily in smart home networks to allow devices to connect and exchange control commands and data with each other.

“Trident IoT has a commitment to innovation, combined with a deep expertise in wireless and RF technologies, that creates a unique capacity to fast-track IoT development,” stated Pedersen, adding that his $10 million investment in Trident is from a belief that the company “can transform the landscape of connected device technology.”

Lamb, who previously founded and sold six startup technology companies, said Trident IoT’s roots came from a visit to the Z-Wave Alliance booth at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

At the booth, Lamb said he was approached by representatives of Silicon Labs, which had exclusive rights to the $130 million annual Z-Wave product market. At the time, Silicon Labs was dealing with a supply chain issue in the wake of the pandemic, and it was having difficulty getting Z-Wave products to customers.

Lamb said Silicon Labs donated its Z-Wave intellectual property to the alliance and asked him to help to be a second source for customers.

“They wanted somebody to get up and running quick,” he said. “That’s how we got started. They saw me as a small guy who wouldn’t be a massive threat to them.”
Z-Wave Alliance also recently approved Trident IoT as an official Z-Wave device certification testing lab.

AI and long-range technology

Trident IoT was co-founded by Chief Technology Officer Mariusz Malkowski and Bill Scheffler with a focus on simplifying RF development, increasing product success rates, and decreasing time-to-market for connected device manufacturers.

To assist in those goals, Trident IoT has developed artificial intelligence tools that can quickly create schematics, board layouts and provide necessary codes to build products. It also can advise consumers of such details as the placement of a battery or antenna.

Lamb said as the technology was being developed, the company realized that it could be used by other engineers besides its own. Trident AI was launched in March as a separate company that will provide AI tools developed by Trident IoT.

“These tools that we are developing are way too powerful than just to be used by Trident IoT,” Lamb said.

In April, Trident IoT announced the release of the new Taurus Z-Wave Series of silicon solutions, which will support the latest advancements in Z-Wave technology, including Z-Wave Long Range (ZWLR), which can transmit beyond a mile.

Lamb said potential uses for the technology include monitoring grain feeders on farms, which is now done with most-expensive cellular technology.

In a broader application, the long-range technology can be used in homes and offices for smart devices that now are on a mesh network that require devices to rely signals from one to another, consuming battery power. ZWLR uses a point-to-point signal that does not have repeaters to relay signals.

The Taurus Series and other products will be mass produced and distributed in January. For now, the company will issue Taurus Series samples to select partners for initial testing and product development.

CEO: Michael Lamb
BUSINESS: RF technology and engineering
FUNDING: $16.7 million
WEBSITE: https://tridentiot.com, https://tridentai.co/
NOTABLE: Trident CEO Lamb has designed more than 400+ wireless products for high-level customers like Comcast, RING, United Technologies, DSC, Nortek, and more


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