This was the startup founded by former Transmeta executive Doug Laird to do a hybrid device combining the qualities of an ASIC and a field programmable gate array (FPGA). The story of its creation and funding (at least $41 million) traced the classic arc of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs trying to find a problem worth building a company around. (See How Cswitch Got Programmed.)
Cswitch is among the latest in a long line of startups trying to do programmable chips -- FPGAs or PLDs (programmable logic devices). The July 13 print edition of EE Times features a chart of the contenders, 58 in all.
That includes the survivors -- especially Actel Corp. , Altera Corp. (Nasdaq: ALTR), Lattice Communications LLC , and Xilinx Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) -- as well as some very old entries from the likes of National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: NSM) and Signetics. Divisions of big companies like (pre-breakup) AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) are included, too.
And then there are all the startups -- including, amazingly, five current ones: Abound Logic Inc., Achronix Semiconductor Corp., SiliconBlue Technologies Corp., Tabula Inc., and Tier Logic. The last two are in stealth mode, and Tabula, for one, has raised $74 million.
Obviously someone still believes in FPGA startups. I'm not sure I like the odds there, but more power to 'em for trying.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading