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XMOS raises $16 million in Series A funding

September 06, 2007 //

Fabless semiconductor startup XMOS Semiconductor Ltd. (Bristol, England) has secured $16 million in a Series A round of venture capital funding to help it develop its "software-defined silicon" multiprocessor architecture.


LONDON — Fabless semiconductor startup XMOS Semiconductor Ltd. (Bristol, England) has secured $16 million in a Series A round of venture capital funding to help it develop its "software-defined silicon" multiprocessor architecture.

The funding is being provided by Foundation Capital (Menlo Park, Calif.) and existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners and DFJ Esprit.

XMOS is developing an event-driven, multi-threaded processor due to be deployed in two-dimensional arrays in a family chips scheduled for introduction in 2008. The basic processor, the 32-bit XCore, has a fixed instruction set developed for fast real-time response and low silicon cost. An inter-core communication link, named XLink, allows complete systems, including interfaces, to be implemented in software. Product development uses a unified embedded software flow founded on C-based programming languages.

Similarities with the transputer processor of the 1980s are entirely to be expected as the XCore architecture is the brainchild of computer scientist David May who developed the transputer and the occam language used to program it. May serves as chief technology officer of XMOS.

Targeting the $1 to $10 price range XMOS reckons its chips will be suitable for high-volume consumer electronics applications while offering high degrees of flexibility to differentiate products and react quickly to changes in standards or functions.

Silicon, development tools and software components are all due to sample to lead customers through Q4 and to be broadly available from Q1 2008.

XMOS was admitted to the Silicon 60 list of emerging startups in version 6.0 of the list first published June 2007.

Related articles:

XMOS tips software-defined silicon

XMOS revealed as configurable fabric company

Transputer's inventor raises funding for processor architecture

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