Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The acquisition of TPACK, an industry-leading provider of silicon intellectual property (IP) for Mapping and Switching functions to leading telecom and networking equipment suppliers, will enable AppliedMicro to expand its presence and customer relationships in the rapidly growing Optical Transport Network (OTN) and Carrier Ethernet markets.
TPACK’s SOFTSILICON™ products support the fastest deployment of new carrier-class packet and optical network standards with the greatest flexibility for Tier 1 equipment vendors. Implemented in Altera FPGA devices, TPACK’s solutions address the unique requirements of individual equipment vendors and accelerate time-to-market for 10, 40 and 100 Gbps OTN switching and routing solutions. As OTN standards evolve and mature, AppliedMicro will use the early engagement work with customers and develop standard reference designs that maintain software compatibility while offering lower cost and lower power.
“While the OTN silicon market is growing rapidly, OTN standards and implementations are still evolving-- thereby offering system OEMs a broad field to uniquely differentiate their products with custom features and legacy support at various levels. This has led a large proliferation of FPGA technology within our customers’ platforms. These FPGA solutions sit beside our products and together provide a scalable, system solution for our customers,” said George Jones, Head of Marketing and Business Development for Transport products at AppliedMicro. “TPACK’s IP implemented in Altera FPGAs will provide us with the flexibility to meet our customers’ special requirements and get to market quickly with leading-edge performance. We believe TPACK’s team of talented engineers will make AppliedMicro more nimble and responsive to a greater range of market needs as system requirements continue to evolve and grow.”
Founded in 2001, TPACK has 37 employees, including 28 design engineers, and brings a track record of innovative product development and steady financial growth as a privately-held company. Following the acquisition closing, the company will continue to operate from its Copenhagen office as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AppliedMicro.
“AppliedMicro shares our vision on how to meet the emerging OTN standards, first with soft-FPGA solutions, and then extend the lessons learned from early customer engagements to improve integration of our Framer-Mapper and Carrier Packet Processor product lines,” said Colin L.M. Macnab, CEO of TPACK. “This acquisition delivers a partnership providing customers with an industry-first, allowing OEMs to transition from first-to-market solutions, through HardCopy® to volume production while maintaining a unified hardware and software architecture.”
“TPACK’s innovative SOFTSILICON™ solution extends the benefits of low NRE and feature-rich flexibility of FPGA solutions into rapidly emerging OTN market space,” said Arun Iyengar, senior director of the communications and broadcast business units at Altera Corporation. “With this acquisition, we look forward to having the same collaborative effort with AppliedMicro that we enjoyed with TPACK. The packet optical transport space is a focused market for us and one that we continue to build upon through our close work with AppliedMicro and the TPACK design team.”
The stock purchase transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close within the next thirty (30) days.
TPACK delivers cutting edge Silicon ICs providing core data transport and switching functions to leading Telecom and Networking equipment suppliers. TPACK’s SOFTSILICON products support the fastest deployment of new Carrier Class Packet and Optical Network standards, providing the most flexible, cost and power effective implementations throughout the life of the equipment. TPACK's customer base includes Tier 1 equipment providers who account for more than 50% of the optical transport equipment market.
AppliedMicro is a global leader in energy conscious communications and computing solutions for telco, enterprise, data center, consumer and SMB applications. With a 30-year heritage as an innovator in high-speed connectivity and high performance embedded processing, AMCC, now AppliedMicro, employs patented transport and embedded processor SoCs to provide high performance energy efficient products. AppliedMicro's corporate headquarters are located in Sunnyvale, California. Sales and engineering offices are located throughout the world. For further information regarding AppliedMicro, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.apm.com.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif., and AUSTIN, Texas – August 17, 2010 – Lyric Semiconductor, Inc. a DARPA- and venture-funded MIT spin-out, today emerged from stealth mode to launch a new technology called probability processing, which is poised to deliver a fundamental change in processing performance and power consumption. With over a decade of development at MIT and at Lyric Semiconductor, Lyric’s probability processing technology calculates in a completely new way, enabling orders-of-magnitude improvement in processor efficiency. Lyric Error Correction (LEC™) for flash memory, the first commercial application of probability processing, offers a 30X reduction in die size and a 12X improvement in power consumption all at higher throughput compared to today’s digital solutions. Lyric Semiconductor has developed an alternative to digital computing. The company is redesigning processing circuits from the ground up to natively process probabilities – from the gate circuits to the processor architecture to the programming language. As a result, many applications that today require a thousand conventional processors will soon run in just one Lyric processor, providing 1,000X efficiencies in cost, power, and size.
For over 60 years, computers have been based on digital computing principles. Data is represented as bits (1s and 0s). Boolean logic gates perform operations on these bits. Lyric has invented a new kind of logic gate circuit that uses transistors as dimmer switches instead of as on/off switches. These circuits can accept inputs and calculate outputs that are between 0 and 1, directly representing probabilities - levels of certainty.
A digital processor steps through these operations serially in order to perform a function. In order to improve efficiency even further, Lyric’s processors are designed to perform many probability computations in parallel.
Lyric’s approach can accelerate search, fraud detection, spam filtering, financial modeling, genome sequence analysis, and many other important present and future applications that involve simultaneously considering many possible alternatives and deciding on the best fit – the best guess for the answer. In theory, digital processors can perform these calculations, but in practice, they do so very inefficiently. As a result, a huge amount of processing overhead is required, costing an enormous amount of space, power and money.
“After a decade of development, we have no shortage of opportunities for our probability processing technology, but we are currently focused on a modest list of both short and long-term applications that will see enormous gains in performance,” says Lyric Semiconductor CEO and co-founder Ben Vigoda. “We are starting with Lyric Error Correction but ultimately plan to develop a more general purpose probability processor that will truly change the landscape for many applications.”
Lyric Error Correction (LEC™) for Flash Memory
Flash error rates have become increasingly problematic with each new generation of the technology. Today, one in every thousand bits stored in a flash memory comes out wrong when the memory is read. In the next generation, the number of errors will approach one bit wrong in every hundred. Flash companies spend billions of dollars on new foundry processes in order to increase overall flash density, but then suffer from increasing error rates. As a result, “advanced” error correctors have had to become significantly larger, more complex and more expensive. LEC is Lyric’s first commercial probability processing offering– an advanced error corrector for flash memories that is 30X smaller and has 12X lower power consumption, all at a higher bandwidth than the digital implementations currently available.
Beyond today’s LEC technology, Lyric is developing the GP5™ – a general-purpose programmable probability processing platform. The GP5 will be ideally suited to calculate probabilities for all types of applications – from web searches to genome sequencing – and could enable performance gains of 1,000X over today’s digital x86-based systems such as the processors from Intel and AMD. The GP5 will run code written in Lyric’s own probability programming language called PSBL™ (Probability Synthesis to Bayesian Logic), an expressive computer programming language for working with probability based computations. Lyric will leverage its probability processor and programming technologies to deliver disruptive total systems to its customers.
Lyric’s LEC technology is currently available for license, accompanied by support services enabling product integration within 12 months. Beyond LEC, the first GP5 will begin sampling in 2013.
About Lyric Semiconductor
Lyric Semiconductor is a fabless semiconductor company founded in 2006 by MIT Ph.D. Ben Vigoda and semiconductor industry veteran David Reynolds, and is located in Cambridge, Mass. Lyric’s probability processing technology was first envisioned by Vigoda at MIT. Lyric’s lead investor and chairman of the board is Ray Stata, founder and 30-plus year CEO of Analog Devices and lead partner of Stata Venture Partners. Lyric currently employs 30 people and has received more than $20 million in government funding from DARPA and other agencies and venture investment from Stata Venture Partners. Lyric Semiconductor maintains a growing IP portfolio of 50 fundamental patent filings in the field of probability processing. More information on the company and its probability processing technology can be found at its new web site, also launched today, at www.lyricsemiconductor.com.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Smooth-Stone Secures $48 Million to Complete Development of Semiconductors for Servers, Data Centers
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Market recovery, limited growth opportunities and consolidation pressures drive semiconductor M&A