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Chip Express gets new name, funding

Posted: 26 Mar 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:asic? chipx? chip express? lsi logic? nec?

In an announcement suggesting increasing investor interest in the structured ASIC arena, Chip Express disclosed Monday (March 22, 2004) that it has closed a $12 million round of funding. Simultaneously, the company unveiled a new name: ChipX.

Chip Express has been an aggressive player in the structured ASIC market, attempting to overcome the superior resources of giants like LSI Logic and NEC with energy and product innovation.

The funding round is more than simply an added push from ChipX's traditional funding source, Elron Electronic Industries. The list included previous investors such as Elron, but was led by a new player, VantagePoint Venture Partners, which also supplied ChipX's new president and CEO, Amnon Fisher.

ChipX also announced that Melissa Crane Guzy, managing director of VantagePoint, would join the ChipX board, and that long-time board chairman Uzia Galil would step down in favor of Elron president and CEO Doron Birger.

With a name change, the company hopes to disassociate itself from the former Chip Express, when the company was known primarily for laser-programmed fast-turn gate arrays. The move would free ChipX to compete in the structured ASIC market without market confusion.

The current ChipX product line is a metal-mask-configured, structured ASIC product similar to, but finer-grained than most of, its competitors. The underlying architecture evolved from work done at Chip Express on laser-configuring devices with large numbers of interconnect layers. One-layer, laser metal-cutting technology is not used.

The company said the new funds would be used for R&D. It is known that ChipX has aggressive - and expensive - plans to migrate its architecture to finer geometries. It is believed that most of the $12 million will be used for this purpose.

- Ron Wilson

EE Times

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