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Intel, KLA-Tencor back DFM startup

Posted: 13 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:dfm? software? semiconductor equipment?

The world's largest semiconductor manufacturer and one of the largest semiconductor equipment manufacturers have taken interest-and financial positions-in Clear Shape Technologies Inc., a design-for-manufacture (DFM) software startup.

Intel Capital, Intel Corp.'s strategic investment program, and KT Venture Group, the investment partner of KLA-Tencor Corp., have provided Clear Shape with more than $5 million in second round venture funding, Clear Shape said.

According to Atul Sharan, Clear Shape president and CEO, the company was not openly searching for funding, but was approached by the industry behemoths after a series of meetings.

"The [DFM] problem has become very urgent in the last six months," Sharan said. "Companies are actively searching for solutions."

Sharan said Clear Shape still has "money in the bank" from its initial venture funding, which came early in 2004, led by U.S. Venture Partners and joined by Telos Ventures and AsiaTech Management.

Clear Shape is not yet marketing products. The company is vague about specifics, other than to say its Silicon Manufacturing Integrity technology can predict and reduce manufacturing variations in functionality, timing, power and signal integrity.

"Our approach is fundamentally different from all of the other [DFM] startups," Sharan said. "We provide designers with the information that is needed from the fab while protecting manufacturing IP [intellectual property]."

Sharan is a 20-year veteran of the semiconductor industry, including executive positions at Synopsys Inc., Numerical Technologies Inc. and Ambit Design Systems, among other companies. He is joined on Clear Shape's management team by other former Numerical Technologies executives Yao-Ting Wang (a Numerical Technologies co-founder), Fang-Cheng Chang and Philippe Hurat. Nishath Verghese, a former technologist with Cadence Design Systems Inc., rounds out the management team.

Clear Shape plans to use the additional funding from Intel and KLA to accelerate its original timetable to meet accelerating market demand, Sharan said.

- Dylan McGrath

EE Times

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