Intel Invests $10M in Clean Tech Companies

Intel Capital, the investment arm of Intel, is investing $10 million in five companies that offer clean technology solutions, ranging from smart-grid devices to power controllers for servers and desktop computers to ways to improve energy efficiency in HPC environments. Four of the five companies are in the United States; the fifth one is based in Ireland.

Intel is investing $10 million in five companies that are developing clean technologies.

At its Technology Innovation Summit July 29, Intel announced that through Intel Capital, the chip maker's investment arm, it was investing in four U.S. companies and a fifth one based in Ireland.

"The global nature of these five investments demonstrates our focus on accelerating clean-tech innovation, emphasizing Intel Capital's unique strength as a global, stage-agnostic investor," Arvind Sodhani, an Intel executive vice president and president of Intel Capital, said in a statement.

The money includes a third investment by Intel in a San Francisco company called Grid Net, which has created PolicyNet, a management platform for the smart grid. PolicyNet touches on "all networked transmission, distribution and generation smart-grid devices" and makes use of 4G broadband networks for "cost-efficient rapid deployment" and management of smart-grid technologies, according to Intel.

The smart grid is an initiative designed to lower power costs by bringing greater intelligence to the energy distribution networks.

Intel also is investing for a second time in two companies. Powervation is a Limerick, Ireland, vendor that sells "digital power controllers for server, desktop computing and communications platforms." The controllers include "automatic configuration and self stabilization," and result in improved power efficiency at the device level, according to the Intel statement.

The other company getting a second investment from Intel is Convey Computer, based in Richardson, Texas. Convey's HC-1 solution aims to improve energy efficiency and performance in HPC (high-performance computing) environments. HC-1 integrates such off-the-shelf components as Intel Xeon chips with compiler technology that reduces programming hurdles that hampered the development of reconfigurable hardware.

iControl is another company getting additional funding from Intel. iControl brings home and energy management capabilities-among other services-to security and broadband providers.

Getting money from Intel for the first time is CPower, a New York company that offers energy management services to enable businesses to improve the efficiency of their facilities through energy-reduction programs. Those businesses also can earn market payments for those energy reductions.