Tech Penny Stocks: Three Small Caps About to Soar in 2014

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The trio of names on our tech penny stocks list has shown a recent price surge and volume spike on promising new business developments.

The amount of money spent in industries like tech and biotech allows some of the best penny stocks to come from these sectors.

All three listed below are involved in multi-billion dollar markets that are slated to grow in 2014: One is involved in the up-and-coming Internet of Things platform; one aims to provide an edge to companies in the ultra-competitive smartphone market; one has a prominent presence in the niche grid market for utilities.

Take a look:

Three Tech Penny Stocks to Watch in 2014

Echelon Corp. (Nasdaq: ELON) is the world's leading control networking platform provider. Based in San Jose, Calif., the company develops, markets, and sells energy control networking solutions. Its inventive products enable commonly used devices, such as air conditioners, electricity meters, light switches, thermostats, and valves, to be interconnected.

Sep 29
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Price: 2.07 | Ch: -0.08 (-3.9%)

Investors are just starting to recognize the potential of this tech penny stock. Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Jan. 13 purchase of Nest Labs Inc. for $3.2 billon "may jump start a multibillion dollar race to acquire companies that are powering the rise of Web connected devices across homes, cities and workplaces," writes Bloomberg.

Echelon fits in that category. According to researcher IDC, the market for Internet of Things is anticipated to generate some $8.9 trillion in revenue by 2020, an increase from $4.8 trillion in 2013.

The company made news last week when it debuted its FT 6050 system-on chip (SoC), "a single chip solution for providing reliable, cost-effective, flexible, wired IP connectivity" for devices on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform. Echelon describes the platform as the next generation of the world's most successful industrial control platforms.

"With almost a billion devices currently connected to control networks in industrial settings, application designers are seeking an effective, safe and simple migration path to the IIoT," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ron Sege in a statement. Connected World Magazine has recognized Echelon for the past 11 years as a game-changer in connectivity technologies.

Echelon has a market cap of $156 million. Shares have traded between $1.99 and $3.66 over the last year and currently change hands at $3.41.

QuickLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QUIK) is a semiconductor company that designs, markets, and supports low-power customizable solutions for tablets, smartphones, broadband access data cards, secure access data cards, and mobile products. Located in California's Silicon Valley, QuickLogic's solutions allow original equipment and design manufacturers to add new features, extend battery life, and enhance the visual experience of handheld devices.

The company is poised to benefit from the explosive shift to mobile computing and communication. In today's always tuned-in and turned-on world, improved battery performance and context awareness sensors are essential. The company made a splash this month at 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas featuring its sunlight display viewability technology and power consumption saving chip. QuickLogic believes extended battery life, as well as bonus features, will attract smartphone designers keen for a competitive edge.

QUIK reports Q4 earnings on Feb. 5. Shares have traded as low as $2 and as high as $5 over the last year. At last check, shares of this tech penny stock were trading at $4.40.

Ambient Corp. (Nasdaq: AMBT) designs, develops, and sells smart-grid communication platforms for utilities. The company's Ambient Smart Grid communications platform enables real-time data communication for multiple applications in tandem: smart metering, distributed generation and storage, demand response, and distribution automation.

The Newton, Mass.-based company announced this week its smart-grid nodes now have an optional powerline communications (PLC) module that improves automation and communication on downtown underground grid architecture that poses a challenge to wireless communication. PLC facilitates secure, high-speed, and reliable communications over low- and medium-voltage grids, helping to minimize infrastructure and operational costs.

"Powerline Communications technology can be extended across the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] band to provide a robust and secure communications channel," President and CEO John J. Joyce said in a statement. "PLC is particularly suited to connect hard-to-reach or underground environments, such as underground vaults meter rooms, or metal cabinets."

Company insiders own 79% of AMBT stock. The shares of this tech penny stock have traded between $1.35 and $4.15 over the last year. They were last trading at $2.30.

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