Friday, June 26, 2009

Tiempo raises 5 million Euros ($7 million) in Series B funding

Grenoble, France – June 2009 – Tiempo, IP company with breakthrough ultra-low power asynchronous design technology, raises 5 million Euros ($7 million) in Series B funding.

Tiempo, located in Montbonnot, France, today announced it has closed a 5 million Euros Series B financing round with two new investors, Viveris Management and Oddo Private Equity. Previous Series A investors, i.e. EmerTec Gestion, Schneider Electric Ventures, INPG Entreprise SA and Alma Capital Finances, also participated to this round.

Tiempo develops and markets core IPs, such as microcontroller and crypto-processor cores, which are designed in an innovative asynchronous and delay-insensitive technology. These cores have outstanding ultra-low power characteristics (energy, current peaks and noise), can operate at ultra-low and variable voltage levels, are very robust against PVT variations and highly secured against hardware attacks. Targeted applications are ultra-low power chips for embedded electronics and/or secured devices.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ZeroG Wireless Announces Greg Winner as New CEO

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- ZeroG Wireless, Inc., an innovator in low-power embedded Wi-Fi design, today announced the appointment of Greg Winner as the company's chief executive officer. Mr. Winner has over 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry and brings experience in product development, engineering and operations. He is charged with leading ZeroG Wireless into the next phase of growth for Wi-Fi and the Internet of Things.

ZeroG Wireless is a fabless semiconductor company focused on creating a world of connected devices, the "Internet of Things." With ZeroG low-power Wi-Fi chips, there is no limit to the type of device that can now leverage the massive and rapidly growing Wi-Fi infrastructure. The Company's products are designed from the ground up to enable simple, low-cost connectivity for nearly any system, regardless of architecture. The result: faster time to market and significantly lower overall system cost.

Privately held, ZeroG Wireless is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. Investors are Battery Ventures, Greylock Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, and Miven.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tensilica Announces Strategic Investment by DOCOMO Capital

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – June 22, 2009 – Tensilica, Inc. today announced that DOCOMO Capital, Inc. has made a strategic investment in Tensilica. DOCOMO Capital is the corporate venture arm of NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s leading wireless carrier. Tensilica is a major semiconductor IP (intellectual property) supplier specializing in dataplane processor cores, which are a combination of CPU (central processing unit) and DSP (digital signal processor) that can be rapidly customized to provide 10-100x the performance of standard CPUs and DSPs. Tensilica’s DPUs (dataplane processing units) are widely used in system-on-chip (SoC) designs for mobile consumer devices.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Updated list of companies watched by Private Semiconductor™

Our initial list of 117 companies posted on this site in early June could be accurately described as woefully incomplete. The updated list now numbers 245 private semiconductor, IP, fabrication technology and DA tool firms.

We've filtered out the obviously defunct organizations, but some remaining on the list were undoubtedly victims of the 2008-2009 downturn and need to be removed. Due to our limited viability into Asia, the list is dominated by organizations in North America and Europe. We will do our very best to maintain, improve and verify the listings.

If you would like to add/remove a company to the list, or offer new insights please send us an e-mail.

We hope this is a valuable resource to the semiconductor, financial and legal communities Parallel Semiconductor LLC serves.

Friday, June 19, 2009

RadioScape exits Administration

RadioScape Ltd, the developer of equipment and systems for the Eureka 147 (DAB / DAB+ / T-DMB) Digital Broadcasting Industry, has received major new financial investment, releasing it from Administration by Price Waterhouse Coppers to concentrate on its core activities in the field of Professional Broadcast Technology.

New management is being brought in but the new company says "Through the period of Administration, RadioScape remained fully operational with its customer facing technical and commercial teams remaining totally unchanged, supporting both the Administrators goal and the existing global client base."

The Company representative said "It is anticipated that the entire team will remain at the core of RadioScape's future business and will be augmented where necessary to meet the expected growing requirements of Eureka 147 Broadcasters as those demands are made,"

It adds all existing commercial and technical commitments will be respected and that "pending customer expectations will be adhered to where possible."

In October 2008, RadioScape announced that it would be scaling down its operations in the domestic DAB module market and closing these activities by the year end because of pricing pressures and volume declines in the modules market in the Far Eastern markets.

The company said at the time that with the increasing availability of highly integrated, low cost, radio receiver chipsets from the Far East, DAB radio manufacturers and brands were increasingly able to develop new products without the need for using a traditional module solution. At the same time, RadioScape was investigating ways to refinance its Broadcast business, and had lined up a prospective buyer, with heads of terms of agreement signed early this year.

However, the company failed to raise the finance needed for the acquisition and in order to stabilise the situation, RadioScape appointed Price Waterhouse Coopers as Administrators on May 30th 2009. The commitment of full Broadcast Team during the short period of Administration and the confidence shown by its large existing client base and prospective customers was able to ensure the on going security of the company, the products and the brand. The entire team is still in place as the company moves and has the customer facing technical and commercial teams remaining totally unchanged.

EqcoLogic NV Announces Zephra Freeman as New Vice President, Business Development

BRUSSELS & DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eqcologic NV announced today that industry veteran Zephra Freeman has joined the company as Vice President of Business Development.

EqcoLogic is a fabless semiconductor company, specializing in high-speed, low-power analog and mixed-signal ICs for digital communications applications. Eqcologic has developed a range of innovative equalizer circuits to enhance data speed or cable reach. They also produce unique “transceivers” designed to enable high-speed serial communications over conventional, low-cost coaxial cables.

The EqcoLogic products work with various standards including IEEE 1394 (FireWire), LVDS, Ethernet, HDSDI (for HD TV cameras), HDMI and, soon, USB 3.0. Data rates of between 100 Mbit/s and 6.2Gbit/s are currently supported.

Peter Helfet, CEO of EqcoLogic, said, “As the EqcoLogic business starts to ramp, we need an experienced and creative person to head up our sales and marketing activities. We are delighted that Zeph has decided to join us as VP Business Development. He has outstanding and relevant customer experience and great relationships throughout the world.”

Zeph Freeman has 25 years of experience in business development and technical marketing as well as manufacturing, program and project management. In the last 9 years he focused on digital, high speed interface technologies, including IEEE1394 (Firewire), PCI Express, DVI, HDMI, Ethernet, eSATA and most recently USB3.0.

Zeph holds a BS in Engineering and an MBA in Business and Engineering Management.

EqcoLogic is a Belgian company, spun-out of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Formed in 2005, the company is commercialising the University’s innovative Equalizer technology made available through an exclusive world-wide license. EqcoLogic is a fab-less semiconductor vendor, developing and supplying complete Equalizer circuits; the company also sub-licenses the core technology and product designs in certain markets. Along with exceptional signal recovery, EqcoLogic chips offer good operational tolerances and low power consumption. Designed for standard CMOS processes, the circuits can also be integrated into other communications chips. EqcoLogic is targeting video, audio, automotive and server applications with a number of business partners.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Crocus Announces New Investor: Holding Entreprises et Patrimoine

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwire - June 18, 2009) - Crocus Technology, a premier developer of Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM), today announced that Holding Entreprises et Patrimoine, a French investment Company, has made an initial investment into the company. The proceeds of Entreprises et Patrimoine's 1.3 million Euros investment will be used to support Crocus' development and market introduction of its first MRAM products. Crocus simultaneously announced that manufacturing partner Tower Semiconductor has also made an equity investment of $1.25 million in the company. Taken together, both investments add more than $3 million to Crocus' balance sheet.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Geo Semiconductor Inc. Launches Operations

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Geo Semiconductor Inc. “GEO” today announced its formation and acquisition of major IC business lines and key elements of the IP portfolio of Silicon Optix Inc., including the Realta and the Geo ICs.

GEO was founded by Paul Russo, Chairman and CEO, who formerly served as founder and CEO of Silicon Optix, Inc. and of Genesis Microchip. GEO is focused on providing the next-generation of video processing for HD and beyond by transitioning its award winning and branded (HQV – Powered by Teranex) video algorithm execution to a software platform, allowing customers to selectively integrate their own IP for product differentiation (Digital Video 2.0 – TM). In addition, GEO’s unique advanced geometry processing takes advantage of the emerging transition to semiconductor illumination sources and will enable a host of high volume applications from pico-projectors to next-generation laser TV’s (Digital Projection 2.0 – TM), as well as digital immersive displays and surveillance systems. It will also enable improvements in brightness and color uniformity in large panel displays. GEO has a large number of leading, tier 1 customers in production utilizing both the Realta and Geo ICs in products that include advanced projectors, DVD players, medical and military displays, video walls, dynamic signage, home theater, education systems and AVRs.

Additionally, GEO has assembled a highly seasoned team consisting of former Silicon Optix executives and other industry veterans. Mike Hopton, VP of Operations and GM based in Toronto, held the same position at Silicon Optix and Genesis Microchip. Madhu Rayabhari, VP of Marketing & Business Development, held similar positions at Microsemi and PowerDsine Inc.

Geo Semiconductor will be headquartered in Silicon Valley with operations and development centers in Toronto, Canada and Orlando, Florida.

About Geo Semiconductor: Geo Semiconductor is an industry leader in programmable, high performance, geometry processing IC solutions that deliver exceptional video quality at resolutions of 1080P and beyond. Geo Semiconductor’s ICs have found broad acceptance in such systems as advanced Projectors, DVD players and AVRs with industry leading customers. Geo Semiconductor is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California with offices around the world. For more information visit http://www.geosemi.com.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Silicon Clocks Completes $10.3M Series C Financing

Fremont, California – June 9, 2009 – Silicon Clocks, a leader in integrated timing
solutions for electronic systems, today announced the completion of a $10.3M Series C
financing to enable the company to ramp into full production the J-Series family of low
jitter timing products, as well as transition its cutting edge CMEMSTM (Standard CMOS
+ MEMS) process technology into commercial products. All of the company’s previous
investors participated in the financing, including Tallwood Venture Capital, Charles
River Ventures, Formative Ventures and Lux Capital. The round also included Austin-
based Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB), a leader in mixed-signal innovation in CMOS.

Semprius Raises $6.4 Million Series B Round of Financing

DURHAM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Semprius, Inc., a semiconductor technology company developing a novel transfer printing technology for the manufacture of advanced semiconductor devices, announced today it has closed a $6.4 million Series B round of venture funding. Existing investors ARCH Venture Partners, Applied Ventures, Illinois VENTURES and Intersouth Partners were joined by In-Q-Tel and GVC Investment Fund. The initial focus of Semprius’ technology is on the production of low cost, high performance solar modules for utility scale power generation. The unique module design and low cost assembly technology enables energy production at wholesale rates without the need for government subsidies. The Series B funding will be used to complete development and begin field deployment of solar modules to selected customers.

Semprius’ technology enables the placement of nearly any high performance semiconductor onto any target substrate, greatly broadening the options available to designers of advanced electronic devices. For many existing designs, the technology can enable a manufacturing process that is faster and far less expensive. It can be applied to a number of markets, including solar modules, electronic displays and wireless devices.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The consolodation has started!

The semiconductor industry is poised for firestorm of consolidation, but there has been very little action due to the stalled capital markets and executive leadership teams focused on revenues, cost cutting, balance sheet clean-up and falling stock prices. In the last 10 weeks the environment has changed with several mergers and carve-out acquisitions having been announced:
The stage is now set with low market valuations, very poor (wafer, assembly & test) capacity utilization, a maturing industry where scale is attractive and revenues having declined significantly. Seems like very dry kindling waiting for a spark........

While we won't attempt to predict the industry's path in this forum, we'll do our best to report on the process.