Market niches that open when incumbent companies grow large and mature leaving opportunities for startups hold interest for me. I’ve been watching for this situation for the past few years as the automation market matures with consolidating companies and slow market growth.

Marketing people for a company just exiting stealth contacted me. I just had an enjoyable conversation with CEO Andrew Baker about the opportunity the founders saw in the analog semiconductor market. There appear to be lucrative niches that are too small for the incumbent companies but can be profitable for a right-sized company. Hopefully, Orca Semiconductor will be that type of company in the right type of market.

Their first product is coming out quicker than comparative development in a large company. This is an advanced power management IC for health wearables, hearables, and other connected devices

Orca Semiconductor on June 20 emerged out of stealth mode as the first analog semiconductor provider to deliver the personalization and high-level support, demanded by customers, that “Big Analog” are neglecting.  Founded by experienced analog IC solution innovators who have spent decades in the industry, Orca also announced it is sampling its first product, the OS1000, the most advanced PMIC (power management integrated circuit) in its class developed for health wearables, hearables and other connected devices.

“Companies developing vertical solutions are frustrated with the lack of customer support and customization available from ‘Big Analog’” said Andrew Baker, CEO of Orca.  “We will address this gap head on. Orca will be nimble and adept at attacking and filling this void. We are committed to delivering industry leading customer service and customized analog products that will speed time to market for innovative smart health and smart factory solutions.”

I am not getting into the weeds of the specs. But if you are designing small electronic devices, check them out.

Targeted at wearable devices, health wearables, hearables and other connected devices, the OS1000 delivers the following features: 

Li+ Battery Charge Management

  • -5.5 to +20V charging power source protection
  • Charge Safety: JEITA thermal monitoring and multiple safety timers
  • User configurable Step Charge
  • Power Path

Two Low Iq Buck Converters

  • 300mA @ 0.5V to 3.0V
  • Up to 4 voltage level DVS controlled thru I2C or fast GPIO

Two Low Dropout Linear Regulators

  • Optional Load Switch mode
  • 100mA @ 0.9V to 3.3V

System Support

  • 2µA Iq with 2 buck converters operating (no load)
  • 150nA Shelf-Mode
  • Flexible regulator startup sequencing
  • Power button support
  • 4 GPIO with user assignable alternate modes
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