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Berkeley Inventors Launch Wireless Sensor Network Company

Arch Rock was founded to develop wireless sensor networks that leverage the Internet for ubiquitous sensing for industrial control and more.

The wireless sensor networking sector just got a little more crowded, with the formal launch of Arch Rock Corp. The San Francisco-based start-up was founded in mid-2005 to develop products that enable wide adoption of wireless sensor networks within the broader context of Internet technology. On March 27, Arch Rock announced that that it has secured $5 million in funding.

The Series A investment from New Enterprise Associates, Shasta Ventures and Intel Capital, will be used to expand the company team and its sales and marketing capabilities, and to further develop Arch Rock’s cohesive set of portable operating systems, layered networking protocols and service oriented architectures, the company said. These three technologies are the critical components that enable scalable deployment and rapid application development for sensing and control across numerous industries with diverse needs, according to the company.

Wireless sensor networks are collections of tiny logic-based sensors that can monitor almost anything—such as light, motion, proximity, temperature, biometrics and chemical substances—and are networked by forming wireless meshes using low-power radio. Arch Rock’s Internet-enabled wireless sensor network solutions allow companies to apply business logic at all tiers of these sensor networks in order to easily capture new kinds of information from the physical world and harness that information through their enterprise software and Web Services applications.

Management team

The Arch Rock management team is Roland Acra, president and chief executive officer, 20-year networking industry veteran; David Culler, Ph.D., chairman, co-founder and chief technical officer, a professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, former director of Intel Research Berkeley and principal investigator of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Network Embedded Systems Technology program (DARPA NEST); and Wei Hong, Ph.D., co-founder and vice president of Engineering, who brings more than 15 years of industry experience in databases and enterprise software.

“Our vision is that sensors will far outnumber computers and that the Internet architecture and value system is the way to scale,” said Acra. “Multi-vendor hardware, networks spanning diverse links, and distributed applications—these are the principles around which the Internet has thrived. We will bring forward these principles and look forward to building a healthy ecosystem in order to scale wireless sensor networks for the benefit of our customers” said Acra.

As part of its March 27 announcement, Arch Rock also said that Forest Baskett, general partner with New Enterprise Associates, Rob Coneybeer, managing director with Shasta Ventures, and Judy Estrin, chief executive officer of Packet Design LLC, have joined the company’s board of directors.

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