Irish semi-conductor company DecaWave has just completed a $30m round of funding from venture capital funds including the China Ireland Growth Technology Fund. The company is taking on more staff here in Ireland and at its overseas offices.

Ciaran Connell, a founder and CEO of DecaWave, described the company as developing GPS for use indoors. "We've designed a set of ultra wide band chips. GPS doesn't work indoors because you have to have line of sight view of satellites.

"With our technology you can measure a distance indoors to 7cm precision over 350 metres without obstruction and 35 metres with an obstruction," he explained. "It opens up a suite of applications - location, navigation and tracking," he added.

DecaWave, which has been producing chips for over four years, has been working with an as yet unidentified European car maker to develop a secure bubble around a car. "The chip is placed in the fob and a chip in the car. Only when the owner is within five metres of the car does it recognise the person."

It also has applications in tracking individuals in care facilities and hospitals. "You can tag a baby and a mother in a hospital. We've been working with a client in the US on this. If the baby is more than a certain distance from the mother, the hospital shuts down," Mr Connell said.

"We've also enabled a 'follow-me' application. We're in a drone where the drone will follow you. And we're going into a third space called 'find my stuff,' he added.

Ciaran Connell said that 80% of DecaWave's workforce is in Dublin. It is recruiting 100 new staff over the next three years, the bulk of which will be in Dublin. Less than half will be commercial jobs. "All of the intense algorithmic work is done here. Silicon Valley in California is to meet leaders and make sure our ideas are being heard. Shenzen, China is huge for IoT (internet of Things). Half our revenue is in China. The current markets are IoT - which is predominantly China - automotive - which is Europe - and we now hope to go on the mobile phone which will be China and the US," he concluded.

MORNING BRIEFS - KBC Bank Ireland has reported a net profit of €183m after tax and impairments for 2017, down from a profit of €227m the previous year. The bank made an exceptional provision of just below €116m to deal with the tracker mortgage redress issue in the year bringing the total provision to just over €120m. So far, the bank has dealt with 501 impacted customer accounts. 

*** UK bank Barclays has reported pre-tax profit for 2017 up 10% to £3.5 billion. It was below analyst expectations although they had not been updated to take account of a £900m tax hit as a result of reforms signed into law by Donald Trump just before Christmas.

*** The ESB is looking for a tenant to occupy 12,500 square metres of grade A office space after it has completed redevelopment of its Fitzwilliam Square site in Dublin city centre. The project will involve the retention of a number of protected Georgian structures and the construction of the two new seven storey office blocks. The ESB will occupy one - Savills and Bannon have been jointly appointed to secure a suitable tenant for the other.

***  The momentum in new house building has continued into this year, according to Goodbody which uses Building Energy Rating registrations to track supply. Its analysis shows that 9,765 new homes were registered with a BER in the 12 months to the end of January - a year on year increase of 73%. But that is still less than a third of estimated demand.