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eASIC, a Silicon Valley maker of custom chip design technology, announced Monday that it has raised $23.5 million in funding from a series of well-heeled investors.
The investors in the round include Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Crescendo Ventures, Seagate Technology, and Evergreen Partners. eASIC, based in Santa Clara, Calif., plans to use the money to fund its development groups in the U.S. and Europe and to provide working capital for its Single Mask Adaptable ASIC devices. Those devices are aimed at dramatically reducing the cost and time it takes to create custom semiconductor chips, like the kind used in cellular basestations, enterprise storage, and hybrid storage devices.
Back in August, eASIC announced that Seagate was a new investor. On top of the investment, both companies said they were exploring the chance to jointly develop custom chips for Seagate’s portfolio of solid state drives — the flash memory-based cards that are replacing hard disk drives in many computers.
Seagate has been launching more of its own solid state drives (SSDs) in response to the changing market for corporate data storage: Flash chips, which are low-power, fast, and expensive, increasingly compete on a better cost footing with cheap, power-hungry, and slow hard disk drives in corporate data centers.
eASIC is a kind of middleman that makes it easier for chip designers to create custom chips that they can bring to market much faster than traditional custom semiconductors. Flash chips are getting more complex to design as the number of interfaces that interact with them multiply. Seagate and eASIC want to craft high-performance, low-cost, and low-power chips that can be targeted at consumer, enterprise, and cloud markets.
“eASIC has become the go-to provider for cost effective, mass customization devices,” said Ronnie Vasishta, president and CEO of eASIC. “Our success in wireless infrastructure and the storage market, coupled with several new key design wins in the high-volume automotive market drove the targeted $20M round to be oversubscribed to $23.5M. This significant funding by leading venture firms and a strategic partner positions us well to expand our development and customer organizations as we execute on our recent wins and broad customer pipeline.”
“The convergence of eASIC’s unique technology, the demand for mass customization combined with the need for low-cost and fast time to market solutions is creating an unprecedented opportunity for eASIC to emerge as the de facto solution for custom silicon platforms”, said Mike Kourey, a Partner at Khosla Ventures. “With this growth capital financing, eASIC and its strong leadership team is in a position to fully execute on its strategy and fulfill the demand of its broadening base of customers and platforms.”