Light Reading

Samplify Systems Shuts Its Doors

Carolyn Mathas
News Analysis
Carolyn Mathas

Former fabless chip firm Samplify Systems, which developed data compression technology for multiple sectors including wireless, appears to have closed down. It should have been clear from the company's website, which displayed a lack of recent updates and product announcements. Often it's the marketing budget that gets hit first when a company's resources are stretched to the max.

According to a trusted industry source, Campbell, Calif.-based Samplify Systems Inc. has gone the way of many others before it, having run out of cash. That speculation has not been confirmed by anyone at, or associated with, Samplify, but calls to the company's headquarters deliver only a recording stating that the firm is "not accepting calls at this time."

Samplify Systems combined high-performance analog with sophisticated digital processing for a new class of intelligent data converters. The company was initially backed by Charles River Ventures in 2006 and, through several rounds of financing, amassed a total investment of $22.8 million during its history. (See Friday Funding Roundup.) Most recently, it raised $11.2 million in a Series B round in March 2011, with investments from Integrated Device Technology, Charles River Ventures, Formative Ventures, and Schlumberger.

Initially, the venture-financed company developed technology designed to bridge the gap between faster data converters and the fixed-bandwidth infrastructure that transfers, processes, and stores those samples. Samplify had patented algorithms from the get-go, and targeted such embedded applications as COTS (commercial off-the-shelf hardware), military, medical imaging, homeland security, ATE, test and measurement, and data acquisition. It created an ultrasound business unit, which it subsequently sold off complete with assets to Cephasonics in March 2012.

More recently the company targeted companies using high-performance computing systems for storage and data processing in the big data, cloud, mobile and consumer electronics sector, but it appears those efforts failed to deliver the required level of business traction needed to stay afloat.

— Carolyn Mathas, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/17/2014 | 5:57:28 PM
When nobody's answering the phone or even checking voicemail, that's a bad sign.

Was this a failure of the technology, or the business?
Steve Saunders
Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Blogger
3/18/2014 | 9:14:16 AM
Re: Why?
I guess. Though noone at our former insect overlords answers their phone either. Or uses email signature blocks.

Is this shut down part of an industry trend/whobble? Or just part of the way of things? I thought the components market seemed remarkably chipper at the recent OFC show...

User Rank: Blogger
3/18/2014 | 11:05:37 AM
Re: Why?
That's tough to answer in this case. In 2006, the technology itself seemed very sound and it probably was. As an observer though, it looked like the technology-based company was chasing an application area, so I'd say probably more a failure of business.

User Rank: Blogger
3/18/2014 | 11:08:01 AM
Re: Why?
Steve, the components market is chipper! Really.

I called the company at 10:00 am and again at 3:00. A little early and late for lunch hour.

This one is the way of things. Good people, good idea, I guess not enough  of a home for it.


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