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Lightspeed Semiconductor Cops $32.5MLightspeed Semiconductor Cops $32.5M

Thomas Weisel Capital Partners leads $32.5 million round in next generation ASIC vendor

November 15, 2001

2 Min Read
Lightspeed Semiconductor Cops $32.5M

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Lightspeed Semiconductor, worldwide manufacturer of Modular Array ASICs, announces it has closed $32.5 million in funding. Lead investor Thomas Weisel Capital Partners, L.P. is confident Lightspeed’s Next Generation ASIC will dominate the mid-volume custom ASIC market by delivering lower entry costs, built-in AutoTest® features, and the fastest timing convergence in the ASIC industry. “Lightspeed is one of the best semiconductor investments in Silicon Valley,” said Alan Menkes, Partner and Co-Director of Private Equity for Thomas Weisel Partners. “ Lightspeed’s patented architecture enables rapid delivery of high performance, affordable ASICs, and provides the company with a strong competitive advantage in addressing the mid-volume market.”Lightspeed’s 4E and 4Em series together comprise the Lightning family of Modular Arrays. Introduced in September of 2001, the 4Em devices provide a cost-effective production solution for companies that prototype with large Xilinx Virtex-E devices. Lightspeed’s Modular Array architecture and design methodology lower the economic boundaries for designing an ASIC with low NRE’s, reduced cycle times, and the fastest timing closure in the ASIC industry. “ A $32.5M investment in this climate is a clear recognition of the tremendous value and innovation that Lightspeed brings to the mid-volume custom silicon marketplace,” said Dave Holt, President and CEO of Lightspeed Semiconductor. “By providing the best pricing, performance, and time-to-market solution, Lightspeed enables our customers to quickly adjust to the stark realities of today's high performance and cost-conscious market.”Lightspeed delivers such remarkable value by storing partially staged wafers at foundry partner TSMC in preparation for customization. Each customer’s design is implemented using only the final two mask steps, which limits extensive customization work and condenses the traditional 6 to 12 month delay in standard cell design cycles to as few as 10 weeks. All Modular Array ASIC routing is done in the metal, keeping it free from the extra capacitance of pass transistors used in FPGAs. This all-metal routing architecture gives Lightspeed devices a two to three times performance advantage over large FPGAs. LightSpeed Semiconductor

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