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XMOS sees key $26m investment

July 21, 2014 // Nick Flaherty

XMOS sees key $26m investment

UK chip designer XMOS has raised $26.2m (€19.2m) from three global chip partners in one of the largest silicon investments this year.

The Series D investment from Robert Bosch, Huawei and Xilinx Technology Ventures is to accelerate development of the next generation low latency, deterministic multicore processor products.

"There's not many chip companies getting funded here or in the US so that is quite a standout event in itself," said Nigel Toon, CEO of Bristol-based XMOS.

The deal includes investment from Europe, the US and China. "Huawei is an interesting partner," said Toon. "They are focussed on investing in Europe which is a small part of the reason but they are the number three supplier in smart phones and interested in the whole extension of that into the Internet of Things, so there are quite a few overlap areas. And a partnership with a company like that in China is tremendous."

The XMOS technology fits well with Bosch in automotive, industrial and consumer, says Toon, and Hongquan Jiang, Investment Principle at Robert Bosch Venture Capital, will join the XMOS board. “XMOS is one of the most exciting young semiconductor companies around today and we see a huge potential for their intelligent multicore technology in various sectors of our parent company,” said Jiang.

The third leg of the investment is FPGA vendor Xilinx. “There's nothing explicit with Xilinx but we are both programmable companies, we are lower power, they are heavily focussed on infrastructure so there's a lot of overlap in our general interests,” said Toon, who used to work for arch-competitor Altera. “We have some common distributors so we can benefit from that.”

The three join existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, DFJ Esprit, and Foundation Capital.

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