Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GEO Semiconductor Closes $2 Million in Venture Debt and Equity Financing

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GEO Semiconductor Inc. (“GEO”), the industry leader in high performance, programmable video and geometry pixel processor IC solutions that enable large new markets in LED-backlit LCD displays and smartphone cameras (optics through sensor), today announced $2 million in additional funding comprised of venture debt and equity. Montage Capital led the venture debt portion of the funding with participation from Harris & Harris Group. The equity portion of the funding was secured from existing shareholders and management.

GEO plans to utilize the proceeds from this funding to support its multiple new design wins for applications in LED backlighting for LCD flat panel displays, smartphone cameras, video conferencing, surveillance, laser 3D TV, digital cinemas and 2D/3D projection. In addition, this financing will be used for business development activities, while also providing additional working capital as IC shipments begin to ramp.

GEO Semiconductor’s Chairman and CEO Paul Russo commented, “I am very pleased to have raised this expansion capital and to welcome Montage Capital and Harris & Harris Group as our newest investors in the Company. This financing will enable us to further penetrate key high volume growth opportunities that include correcting color & brightness uniformity issues in LED-backlit LCD displays as well as correcting optical anomalies and sensor pixel non-uniformity issues in smartphones. I also want to extend my appreciation to our existing equity investors for their continued support. I believe this additional funding will further drive our business forward, while we begin our Series B funding for development of our next-generation of eWarp geometry processing silicon in the fourth quarter of this year.”

About GEO Semiconductor

GEO Semiconductor (GEO) is the industry leader in programmable, high performance, video and geometry pixel processor IC solutions for multiple markets and types of sub-pixel streams. GEO has two platform technologies - Realta (real-time processing of HD video & 3D algorithms in software) and eWarp (allowing the trade-offs between optical systems and pixel processing, enabling the merging and de-warping of multi-camera capture systems, making possible low-cost, precise correction of LED-backlit LCD display color and brightness uniformity issues, and correcting the entire optical path in smartphone cameras (optics anomalies through image sensor uniformity issues). In addition to the highest 2D/3D video and geometry processing performance, these platform technologies enable totally new products and features, at resolutions of 1080P and beyond. GEO ICs have found broad acceptance in such markets as High Resolution Medical LCD Displays, Dynamic Signage, Broadcast, High-end BluRay DVDs and AVRs, Advanced Projectors, 3D, Laser TV, and Multi-Camera Video Conferencing and Surveillance devices with global industry leading customers. The company’s products and technologies, through superior and precise sub-pixel video and geometry processing enable both cost reductions with improved performance for existing products while also enabling new opportunities such as digital optical correction, LCD display enhancement through color and brightness uniformity correction, ePTZ™ digital pan/tilt/zoom video conferencing and surveillance systems, and pico-projection. GEO is headquartered in Santa Clara, California with offices in Toronto and Orlando, and sales channels around the world. www.geosemi.com

About Montage Capital

Headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley, Montage Capital (www.montagecapital.com) provides early and mid-stage technology companies with unique financing solutions. The firm focuses on companies led by seasoned entrepreneurs, who are delivering proprietary products and services to large markets. Its lending products offer founders and executives a compelling alternative to financing from traditional angel, venture capital and commercial banking sources.

About Harris & Harris Group

Harris & Harris Group (NASDAQ: TINY) is a venture capital company that specializes in making investments in companies commercializing and integrating products enabled by nanotechnology and microsystems. The firm defines venture capital investments as the money and resources made available to privately held start-up firms and privately held and publicly traded small businesses with exceptional growth potential. Harris & Harris Group has funded companies developing nanoscale-enabled solutions in solid-state lighting, emerging memory devices, printable electronics, photovoltaics, battery technologies, thermal and power management, next-generation semiconductor devices and equipment, quantum computing, diagnostics, therapeutics and medical devices. With over 30 nanotechnology companies in its portfolio, the firm believes they are one of the most active nanotechnology investors in the world.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

PLX Technology to Acquire Teranetics, the Leading Supplier of 10 Gigabit Ethernet Silicon

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PLX Technology, Inc. [NASDAQ: PLXT], the leader in connectivity solutions for the data center and the home, today announced it has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of capital stock of Teranetics, Inc., a privately held fabless provider of high-performance mixed-signal semiconductors. Teranetics, the broadly recognized leader in 10 Gigabit Ethernet over copper physical layer (10GBase-T PHY) technology, delivered the industry’s first fully integrated single-chip implementation of single-port and dual-port 10GBase-T PHY silicon. This silicon is the only known solution in production today.

Teranetics’ corporate headquarters are located in San Jose, California. Founded in 2003, Teranetics provides state-of-the-art silicon solutions that enable 10 Gigabit rates over widely installed low-cost CAT6 and CAT6a cabling. Teranetics’ products allow data centers and enterprise networks to increase scalability and improve throughput while dramatically lowering the cost of ownership for 10 Gigabit links.

Significant growth is expected over the coming years as 1 Gigabit Ethernet networks are upgraded to 10 Gigabit. Market leaders of enterprise switches, NICs, and adapters are shipping products today with Teranetics’ 10GBase-T products. As servers start to ship with 10GBase-T on motherboards next year, demand will accelerate. The Linley Group estimates that over four million ports will ship in 2012 and over 22 million ports in 2014. The total potential for this market is much greater and will take years to develop, similar to the transition from Fast Ethernet to 1 Gigabit Ethernet. Today, 1 Gigabit Ethernet is dominant in the data center, with over 200 million switch ports shipping annually.

PCI Express and 10G Ethernet have their advantages and will continue to coexist as complementary technologies in the data center. PLX will leverage its unique leadership position, technology and IP with these two dominant IOs to bring out new architectures for the data centers of tomorrow and to tap further into the $2 billion Ethernet semiconductor market. These future solutions can take advantage of both technologies while leveraging the company’s superior switching fabrics, high-speed analog, and SoC capabilities to increase performance, lower power consumption and reduce overall system costs.

“This acquisition installs a third leadership position into our product portfolio,” said Ralph Schmitt, president and CEO of PLX. “As the market leader, Teranetics has successfully solved difficult system issues with 10 Gigabit Ethernet plaguing the data center. This has allowed them to ramp their products at critical customers. PLX is fully committed to this market and will continue to invest in future PHYs and other IP to bring high-performance system-level products to market. We welcome our new team to the PLX family, where we will share our mutual core values of leadership, excellence, integrity and winning.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, PLX Technology will acquire Teranetics in exchange for 7.4 million shares of PLX valued at approximately $27.6 million based on today’s closing price, cash of approximately $1.3 million and two promissory notes aggregating approximately $6.9 million. PLX will also assume approximately $18 million of Teranetics corporate obligations, including indebtedness, transaction expenses incurred by Teranetics and cash bonuses payable to Teranetics employees. The first note will be for $5.4 million due one year from closing and the second will be for approximately $1.5 million due three years from closing. The acquisition has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors. The acquisition, which is subject to satisfaction of certain closing conditions, is anticipated to be completed in early October 2010. Prior to signing the merger agreement, PLX also made a $1 million bridge loan to Teranetics.

“By joining forces with PLX, an established leader in server and data center connectivity, Teranetics gets the framework essential to scaling our business and strengthening our ability to win,” said Nersi Nazari, president and CEO of Teranetics. “With our combined portfolios of enterprise PCI Express switches and 10G Ethernet PHYs, and our common customer base, we envision the newly merged company dominating the backbone of the data center market.”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tensilica, Inc. Announces Strategic Investment by Fujitsu

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - September 21, 2010) - Tensilica,® Inc. today announced that Fujitsu Limited has made a strategic investment in Tensilica. Tensilica is a major semiconductor IP (intellectual property) supplier specializing in dataplane processor (DPU) cores, which are a combination of CPUs (central processing unit) and DSPs (digital signal processor) that can be rapidly customized to provide 10 to 100x the performance of standard CPUs and DSPs. Tensilica's DPUs are widely used in system-on-chip (SOC) designs for signal processing in mobile wireless, home entertainment and other applications.

"After working with Tensilica on the development of advanced performance on our mobile terminals we realized how important Tensilica's DPU foundation has become to our engineers," stated Minoru Sakata, President, Mobile Phones Unit, Fujitsu Limited. "Tensilica's customizable DPUs help us get maximum performance with the lowest possible power in high throughput, signal processing-intensive mobile wireless devices."

"We've been working with the best engineers at Fujitsu for over two years as they've been designing their LTE products for next-generation mobile phones," stated Jack Guedj, Tensilica's President and CEO. "We are honored that Fujitsu has decided to make a strategic investment in Tensilica out of its corporate venture capital fund due to our strong DPU semiconductor IP for LTE baseband modem, audio processing and many other applications in advanced mobile phones. We will be working closely with them to find other chip design projects that can benefit from our technology."

Tensilica's DPUs range from small, micro control and signal processor to powerful benchmark-topping, yet very efficient DSPs. Tensilica has used its own Xtensa DPU foundation to quickly develop and optimize DPUs for audio, baseband and other signal processing applications that have been designed into millions of cellular phone handsets.

About Fujitsu
Fujitsu is a leading provider of ICT-based business solutions for the global marketplace. With approximately 170,000 employees supporting customers in 70 countries, Fujitsu combines a worldwide corps of systems and services experts with highly reliable computing and communications products and advanced microelectronics to deliver added value to customers. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.6 trillion yen (US$50 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. For more information, please see: www.fujitsu.com.

About Tensilica
Tensilica, Inc. is the leader in customizable dataplane processor IP cores. Dataplane Processor Units (DPUs) combine the best capabilities of CPUs and DSPs while delivering 10 to 100x the performance because they can be customized using Tensilica's automated design tools to meet specific signal processing performance targets. Tensilica's DPUs power SOC designs at system OEMs and six out of the top 10 semiconductor companies for products including mobile phones, consumer electronics devices (including digital TV, Blu-ray Disc players, broadband set top boxes, digital still cameras and portable media players), computers, and storage, networking and communications equipment. For more information on Tensilica's patented, benchmark-proven DPUs visit www.tensilica.com.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Intel Capital invests in Ciranova

SANTA CLARA, Calif., September 14, 2010. Ciranova Inc., a technology leader in analog IC physical design automation, announced today that Intel Capital, Intel Corporation’s global investment organization, has made an investment in the company. The funding will be used to expand the company’s sales and customer support operations and for specific extensions to the company’s technology.

Ciranova’s automated-design software helps engineers integrate complex RF, analog and mixed-signal content into nanometer-scale silicon much more densely and quickly than previously possible. Ciranova® technology is used by semiconductor companies integrating Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SERDES and other functions into high-end system-on-chip (SoC) designs at 65nm and below.

“Silicon for consumer devices, especially mobile internet and broadband, now demands very aggressive mixed-signal integration in nanometer CMOS,” said Eric Filseth, Ciranova CEO. “But putting many radios or other analog functions into a single chip, together with digital, is extremely challenging using traditional analog methods. Our approach is much better suited to the complex process rules and large-scale designs associated with SoCs, and we’re delighted that Intel Capital has chosen to invest in our company.”

“The productivity gap in analog/mixed-signal design automation has been growing at a much faster rate than the productivity gap in digital design. Increased automation in analog design flows is needed to ensure acceptable design times for analog/mixed–signal circuits” said Shishpal Rawat, director of business enabling programs with the Design Technology Solutions Group, Intel. “Ciranova’s approach could improve turnaround time in analog layout automation, a key component of the overall analog/mixed-signal design flow.”

About Ciranova
Ciranova is an electronic design automation (EDA) company focused on large productivity improvements in RF, analog and mixed-signal IC physical design. Complementary to existing design flows and supported by leading foundries, Ciranova’s PDK and layout automation software dramatically reduces the time and effort needed to implement complex analog functionality in advanced CMOS. Ciranova is a founding member of the Interoperable PDK Libraries (IPL) Alliance and supports the Si2 OpenAccess database. For more information, visit our website at www.ciranova.com.

About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel's global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovativetechnology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet, semiconductor manufacturing and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$9.5 billion in over 1,050 companies in 47 countries. In that time frame, 175 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 241 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2009, Intel Capital invested US$327 million in 107 investments with approximately 50 percent of funds invested outside the United States and Canada. For more information on Intel Capital and its differentiated advantages, visit
www.intelcapital.com.

New Imaging Technologies Raises 3 Millions Euros from Prestigious Venture Capital Firms

CMOS image sensor start-up New Imaging Technologies (NIT) has successfully concluded a round of private equity financing from several prestigious French high-tech investment firms totaling 3 million euros. The new round of investment for NIT is oriented towards the ongoing development of innovative CMOS image sensor technologies and further business expansion.

"We are convinced that NIT’s Wide Dynamic Range Technology has the potential to be a leader in the growing market of CMOS image sensor technology," says Jean Philippe Gendre, Partner at Emertec Gestion. "NIT’s unique Native WDR™ technology can cover a broad range of applications that were previously not addressed because of the lack of available sensors with such performances.

“NIT’s engineering teams, proven scientific track record and excellent management team was key to secure our decision”, says Gilles Daguet Senior Partner at ACE Management. “This capital increase will secure NIT continued growth. We strongly believe in the strategy and of the market potential for NIT’s CMOS image sensors."

"We were also impressed by NIT's expertise, potential and positionning, as well as the talented team leading this project" added Benoît Thiedey of Alto Invest.

“This substantial capital increase will allow us to implement in time our strategic roadmap of new product introduction and sales development ”, says Pierre Potet President of NIT,

About ACE Management

ACE Management is a portfolio management company specialised in private equity investment in technology companies in the fields of Aerospace, Defence, Security and Maritime.

ACE Management manages eight investment vehicles (among which AEROFUND I and II, SECURITE, Financière de Brienne and ATALAYA) representing more than 300 M€ invested by industrial leaders (Thales, CEA, DCNS, Safran, EADS, Airbus,…), institutional investors (CDC, AXA, Crédit Agricole, CIC, FSTQ, …) and 4 French Regions (Midi-Pyrénées, Aquitaine, Pays de la Loire, Centre).

www.acemanagement.fr

About ALTO Invest

ALTO INVEST is a capital management company investing primarily in small and mid-sized fast growing companies.

ALTO INVEST's team is highly experienced in managing private equity portofolios on behalf of institutional and private clients, and ti made more than 90 private equity investments in Europe.

ALTO INVEST is fully approved by the French financial authorities (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) and is an active menber of the French Asset Management Association (Association Française de la Gestion financière).

www.altoinvest.fr

About Emertec Gestion

Emertec Gestion manages early stage venture funds focused on ICT and CleanTech Start ups in Europe. Emertec works closely with Research Labs and Entrepreneurs to implement breakthrough innovations, often born at the crossing of complementary technological fields. Emertec team is a balanced mix of robust industrial and VC experience.

www.emertec.fr.

Microsemi Corporation Acquires Arxan Defense Systems, Inc.

IRVINE, Calif., Sep 15, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq:MSCC), a leading manufacturer of high performance analog mixed-signal integrated circuits, high reliability semiconductors, and RF subsystems, today announced that it has acquired privately held Arxan Defense Systems, Inc.

Arxan Defense Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of anti-tamper solutions, providing full-service support to defense clients in securing systems against tampering, piracy and reverse engineering. Arxan's software and firmware platform, EnforcIT(TM), is designed for defense customers building major weapons systems that require protection of critical technologies against nation-state threats.

There is a strong need for reliable, efficient solutions for software and hardware protection and information assurance to meet mandatory requirements as specified by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) directives. As each program and product is unique, with its own specific security, platform, performance, and business requirements, it is generally unfeasible to fulfill these requirements using a single technology.

"The combination of Microsemi and Arxan Defense Systems creates a broad and complementary product portfolio for the Defense market," said James J. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Microsemi. "Arxan's software and firmware solutions fulfill an important role in protecting DoD-critical technologies while they serve to enable additional opportunities in non-U.S. military markets."

"This partnership between Microsemi and Arxan Defense Systems further leverages Arxan's EnforcIT (TM) enablement platform into additional security layers and devices to complement our software and firmware protection capabilities," said Rich Earley, Chief Executive Officer of Arxan Defense Systems. "We are proud to join forces with such a strong and growing supplier of Defense products, systems, and capabilities."

Microsemi intends to discuss this acquisition during its fiscal year-end earnings conference call to be scheduled in November.

About Microsemi Corporation

Microsemi Corporation, with corporate headquarters in Irvine, California, is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of high performance analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, high reliability semiconductors and RF subsystems. The company's semiconductors manage and control or regulate power, protect against transient voltage spikes and transmit, receive and amplify signals.

Microsemi's products include individual components as well as integrated circuit solutions that enhance customer designs by improving performance and reliability, battery optimization, reducing size or protecting circuits. The principal markets the company serves include implanted medical, defense/aerospace and satellite, notebook computers, monitors and LCD TVs, automotive and mobile connectivity applications. More information may be obtained by contacting the company directly or by visiting its website at http://www.microsemi.com.

About Arxan Defense Systems, Inc.

Arxan Defense Systems, Inc. is an anti-tamper technology company providing products and support to DoD and military clients across the entire anti-tamper lifecycle. It empowers program managers to successfully navigate the verification and validation process through a combination of people, products and processes. Arxan Defense Systems takes a 'hooks and handles' approach to create strong defense-in-depth solutions for critical technology and critical program information. With its premier EnforcIT(TM) product suite, Arxan Defense Systems enables engineers to build custom software and firmware protection schemes, and through extensible platforms, it enables developers to leverage best of breed technology in a fast, efficient, and highly secure manner.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Microsemi Acquires VT Silicon

IRVINE, Calif., Sep 14, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq:MSCC), a leading manufacturer of high performance analog mixed signal integrated circuits, high reliability semiconductors, and radio frequency (RF) subsystems, today announced that it has acquired all of the assets of VT Silicon.

VT Silicon, located in Atlanta, GA, designs and manufactures multi-band radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) solutions for the mobile wireless broadband market. VT Silicon's products leverage linearization and efficiency-enhancement technologies to enable highly efficient, low-cost and small-footprint intelligent Front-End RFIC solutions.

"We are pleased to extend our industry leading RF product offering to next generation WLAN and WiMax markets with the acquisition of VT Silicon," said James J. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Microsemi Corporation. "As the first supplier in the world to develop a monolithic front end RFIC in Silicon Germanium (SiGe), VT's technology caliber is designed to enable Microsemi to deliver innovative, highly-integrated front-end modules to our customers. The acquisition of VT Silicon extends Microsemi's technology leadership in the RF business and reflects our continuing commitment to this important market."

According to a recent report published by Strategy Analytics, the worldwide installed base of consumer wireless devices will exceed 2.6 billion by 2014. This high volume global growth market, which necessitates technology differentiation, typifies the kind of commercial business Microsemi targets for leadership. Microsemi's balanced business model blends high-volume commercial market opportunities with the growth and content opportunities of its Aerospace, Defense and Security end markets. Microsemi intends to discuss this acquisition during its fiscal year-end earnings conference call to be scheduled in November.

About Microsemi Corporation

Microsemi Corporation, with corporate headquarters in Irvine, California, is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of high performance analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, high reliability semiconductors and RF subsystems. The company's semiconductors manage and control or regulate power, protect against transient voltage spikes and transmit, receive and amplify signals.

Microsemi's products include individual components as well as integrated circuit solutions that enhance customer designs by improving performance and reliability, battery optimization, reducing size or protecting circuits. The principal markets the company serves include implanted medical, defense/aerospace and satellite, notebook computers, monitors and LCD TVs, automotive and mobile connectivity applications. More information may be obtained by contacting the company directly or by visiting its website at http://www.microsemi.com.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Maxim acquires Phyworks

SUNNYVALE, CA– September 8, 2010 – Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:MXIM) announced today that it has acquired privately held Phyworks Ltd. for approximately $72.5 million in cash.

Maxim CEO Tunc Doluca remarked: “Business and consumer appetite for access to information anywhere, anytime, will continue to grow exponentially. The backbone to support the increased data traffic is high-speed optical networks. Additionally, optical networks are now beginning to reach consumers directly with fiber to the home. The addition of Phyworks’ product portfolio and talent to Maxim strengthens our market position to capitalize on this growth.”

Acquisition Highlights:
  • The acquisition is synergistic to Maxim’s optical transceiver product line and opens up new high-speed product opportunities.
  • The combination of the two companies will provide a broad and powerful set of solutions for customers.
  • Phyworks’ products for fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) applications complement Maxim’s datacom and telecom portfolio.
  • Maxim and Phyworks combined will have market share leadership for transceiver chips for optical modules.
  • Phyworks’ know-how opens up additional high-speed signal integrity product opportunities for Maxim.
  • Phyworks has been successful in the Optical Infrastructure market.
  • An outstanding engineering organization has achieved fast new product time-to-market.
  • Leadership in bringing highly integrated products to the market has enabled module makers to produce very cost effective solutions. Going forward, Maxim’s brand name will strengthen customer traction. The high-speed market presents a large growth opportunity.
  • This growth is driven by huge demand for data rich applications (high- definition video distribution and cloud computing)
  • Served market for optical transceivers and high-speed signal integrity products is estimated to be $340 million in 2014
  • The acquisition is immediately accretive.
  • Phyworks’ gross margin is better than the Maxim average.
  • With synergies, the acquired operating margin is better than Maxim’s excluding acquisition-related charges and amortization.
"Phyworks is very pleased to be joining Maxim," said Stephen King, President and CEO of Phyworks." As the optical communications markets continues to evolve, technologies from both companies can be combined to create higher performance, lower cost solutions that will enable end users to build next generation optical networks. Maxim is the ideal partner for our customers and for our employees, and this combination strengthens Maxim's position as a leader in the markets we share."

"RBC Capital Markets Corporation acted as financial advisor to Phyworks in connection with the transaction."