CSR co-founders form M2M wireless startup

Several co-founders of Cambridge Silicon Radio, now CSR plc, have combined with others to form Neul Ltd. with the aim of creating a global wireless network business for machine-to-machine communications.

The company’s network plan is based on a forthcoming open communications standard and is intended to operate in license-free “white-space spectrum” being made available by the retirement of analog television broadcasting. The communications is intended to only support data, the company says, as befits machines. “We will enable completely new kinds of devices, services and business models. We are creating the Internet of Everything,” the company claims on its website.

Neul (Cambridge, England) was founded in 2010 by chief executive James Collier; Glen Collinson, who serves as a director and chairman of an internal strategy committee; Professor William Webb, chief technology officer; Robert Young, vice president of engineering and Neil MacMullen – VP Software Systems.

Collier, Collinson and Young were all co-founders of CSR in 1998 which went public in 2004.

Neul already has senior management staff and a portfolio of proprietary and patented intellectual property, hardware platforms, software protocol stacks and physical network infrastructure will be used to roll out a network of base stations and services.The name Neul derived from the Gaelic word for cloud.

Upcoming M2M standard to fire starting gun?

The company is not providing much detail of its technology at present except to say terminals will be very low power and low cost and the network will be able to scale to support billions of devices simultaneously. This matches up to predictions that the Internet-of-things will scale to about 50 billion connections in 2020.

The applications Neul is targeting include: M2M communications, electronic media and content delivery, asset tracking, traffic management and road pricing and continuous monitoring and dynamic upgrades of firmware, remote health monitoring, point-of-sale and shelf-label networking, environmental monitoring and control, smartgrid, home and industrial building automation, security and control.

Neul said that some details of the company’s technology will be released when the global M2M communications standard is launched in 2011.

European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has been working on a set of M2M communications standards since January 2009. A first release of these standards was predicted for the first half of 2011.

No mention is made on the Neul website of where Neul’s funding has come from, but given the founders’ successful history it is possible that the company is self-funded thus far.

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