Optical/IP Networks


The lights are (mostly) off and nobody's home: It looks as if network-processor firm Cognigine Corp. is shutting down.

For months, analysts have speculated that the startup was in dire straits, especially after a late-2002 layoff. More recently, emails and phone calls -- including those placed by Light Reading -- have gone unanswered.

A visit yesterday to the Fremont, Calif., headquarters revealed no signs of life. Furniture and office equipment were still in place, but the front desk was vacant, and all lights were off save one bank of fluorescents above a central block of cubicles. No cars were parked anywhere near the company's front door.

In an email, analyst Linley Gwennap of The Linley Group says the company fell into the death spiral that's claimed many a network-processor startup.

"The sad thing is that they got the chip to work, but they couldn't find any customers (no one would commit to a startup with no cash) or funding (no one would fund a company with no customers)," he writes. [Ed. note: Or perhaps it was that name...] The company's exact status remains unclear. It may still be in business, albeit in hibernation (see Bear Market Inspires Hibernation). Or it's possible the company is in shoestring mode, with executives trying to find buyers for the assets, as is happening with Fast-Chip Inc. (see Fast-Chip Flees the Market).

Cognigine's last funding came in 2001, a $22.5 million round from investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Lucent Venture Partners Inc., and Wasserstein Adelson Ventures LLP (see Startup Spins Novel Network Processor).

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

BobbyMax 12/5/2012 | 12:26:11 AM
re: Cogni-Gone? The company was established in 1997 and was in the business of making network processor. The network processor business is almost gone, it would not be surprised if COGNI has closed down. It was tremendous waste of money.

There are many other start-ups just hanging in there until the last dollar is gone. The emergence of start-ups have destablized almost every segment of the business.

The VCs put questionable companies on the payroll regardless wheather their product would be useful. The over-abundance of cheap money has contributed to this situation.

VCs start some junkey companies and then attempt other companies to acquire it at an exhorbitant prices.
cyber_techy 12/5/2012 | 12:25:42 AM
re: Cogni-Gone? This seems to be a BobbyMax's standard response to a startup closure. Is this response automated somehow?
butternoparsnips 12/5/2012 | 12:25:26 AM
re: Cogni-Gone? What? Are you saying that BobbyMax's comments don't represent piercing, insightful analysis?

"VCs start some junkey companies and then attempt other companies to acquire it at an exhorbitant prices."

Brilliant. just brilliant.

multithreaded 12/5/2012 | 12:25:03 AM
re: Cogni-Gone? What all these small startups actually did is to take NPU to another high level. The techniques they invented may show up in one way or another in future networking products.

Actually the NPU wave is picking up, especially in the Asia markets. Look out: Huawei, ZTE, and Actel etc. have been building their routers based in NPU rather than ASIC.

One should not be surprised if Cognigne's IP would be brought out by somebody and be intergrated into other's product.

I hope the multithreaded design I made at Cognigine will last much longer than the company itself.
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