Home Feature This Georgia Tech PhD wants to boost microchip power here on Earth and up in space

This Georgia Tech PhD wants to boost microchip power here on Earth and up in space

by Maija Ehlinger

Like many startup founding teams, Edgar Garay and his team  have been too busy working on Falcomm  to finish decorating their Colony Square office space or buy a bunch of new artwork. But they do have a unique piece of art, a framed version of their semiconductor prototype, that is a fun and unique hanging reminder of how far the early-stage startup has come in such a short time. 

While Falcomm’s prototype is small enough to fit in a frame, it has potential to transform the way we think about energy. Its solid-state power amplifiers, called the dual-drive™ PA, are designed to be the most energy efficient product. 

That is important for everything from operating cell phones to satellites. Right now, the electricity cost associated with cell phone base station operations costs tens of billions of dollars and is massively inefficient. Up in space, satellites struggle to keep signal strength high and keep battery consumption low. 

The Falcomm team is developing a better microchip that cuts down on energy waste while boosting data transfer speeds. 

That is particularly important for those in the satellite industry, telecommunication firms, wearable tech companies, and any industry that has significant “wireless data transfer needs,” Garay told Hypepotamus. That could mean faster movie download speeds for users and decreased energy cost for companies. 

Falcomm is an extension of Garay’s PhD work at Georgia Tech on power amplifiers, semiconductors, and microchip development. Garay said he has been interested in the wireless data transfer space for some time and saw that the space was ripe for innovation. Now in his last year of thesis work, Garay is hitting the ground running and looking to commercialize the product. He said the university has been “extremely supportive” as he looks to commercialize a product and IP that was born during his academic time on campus.  

He’s been able to grow his team through the Georgia Tech and Scheller College of Business networks. The team has three full-time employees and a group of advisors helping the startup navigate the semiconductor industry. 


Falcomm Gaining Traction 

Falcomm borrows its name from the falcon, a bird known for its efficiency while in flight.

To fuel is growth both on Earth and in space, Falcomm has turned to two well-known university incubator systems. On its home campus of Georgia Tech, Falcomm worked with VentureLab, a program designed specifically to help students and faculty commercialize their technology ideas. 

It also went through the high-tech accelerator Berkeley SkyDeck at the University of California, Berkeley in 2021.

This year, Garay is focused on submitting his thesis and turning Falcomm into a commercially-viable product. He’s particularly interested in growing relationships with satellite and space communication ventures. 

“Our main challenge is not technology potential. Our technology is better than anything out there. Our biggest challenge is: How do we become part of the supply chain?” Garay told Hypepotamus. “When you’re in a business to business, you have to become part of the supply chain and you’re competing with a legacy or companies.”



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