EETimes has just published its latest version of the top 60 "emerging" companies list. The majority of startups on the list seem to be fabless semiconductor companies, and this fact should not come as a surprise to anyone. There is still much demand for standard components, and the costs of building a modern fab are so high that practically no one is willing to enter the semiconductor manufacturing family.
I have inspected the list and extracted companies belonging to two categories in our industry: EDA tools providers and virtual cores (IP) providers. What I found interesting is that none of the eleven companies that belong to the EDA Tools providers list have been started after 2005. I would, therefore not qualify them as "emerging" since they have been around for a significant amount of time. I would call them "promising" since they all have an opportunity to be around for some time and might even be able to successfully implement their exit strategy and reward their initial investors.
You can find the entire list here . Version 1.0 of the list, published April 2004, could be found here when this article was first posted.
Atoptech Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.), founded in 2003, has developed physical design EDA tools. Aprisa, based on AtopTech's interconnect-centric optimization technology, supports design closure at 90nm, 65-nm and below. www.atoptech.com
Azuro Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) was founded in 2002 by Paul Cunningham and Steev Wilcox. The company has developed a technology for clock-tree synthesis that supports optimization for power consumption reduction. www.azuro.com
Blaze DFM Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.), founded in October 2004, provides software to support "electrical DFM" and parametric yield for sub-100-nm circuits. The company landed $10 million in series B venture capital funding in March 2007 while also disclosing completion of its previously announced merger with Aprio Technologies Inc. www.blaze-dfm.com
Calypto Design Systems Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.), founded in 2002, is a privately held EDA company focused on bridging electronic system-level design and integrated circuit implementation with an emphasis on sequential analysis and optimization for power consumption. www.calypto.com
Ciranova Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.), founded in 2002, is a privately held EDA company focused on offering support to authors of parameterized cells. Since early 2006 the company has offered free downloads of PyCell Studio, which can be used to create OpenAccess p-cells. www.ciranova.com
Dafca Inc. (Framingham, Mass.), founded in 2003, is a provider of EDA software tools that help insert reconfigurable infrastructure for system-on-chip devices. www.dafca.com
Imperas Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) was formed in 2005 by Simon Davidmann, a serial EDA entrepreneur. The company plans to offer system development tools that combine the elaboration of both hardware and software while dealing with multiprocessing issues. www.imperas.com
Luminescent Technologies Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.), backed by Sevin Rosen Funds, has developed a line of RET software products based on inverse lithography correction for use in optical proximity correction and phase-shift photomask applications. www.luminescent.com
Solido Design Automation Inc. (San Ramon, Calif.) was founded in 2005 with a mission to address process-variation for transistor-level designers. Solido has developed a proprietary and patent-pending set of algorithms forming the core of its technology. www.soliodesign.com
Takumi Technology Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.), founded in October 2003, is a supplier of critical dimension aware software solutions for backend tapeout defect analysis and layout optimization. www.takumi-tech.com
Xoomsys Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.), formed in 2004, is developing scalable, distributed processing software for large-scale circuit simulation using both industry-standard circuit simulators and inexpensive Linux computing clusters. www.xoomsys.com
Arteris Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) started in Paris in 2003 as is an intellectual-property vendor commercializing a packet-based on-chip network. The company has moved its headquarters to Silicon Valley while maintaining a French subsidiary. www.arteris.com
Artimi Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.), founded in 2002, is a fabless semiconductor company developing single-chip Ultra Wideband (UWB) transceivers with R&D in Cambridge, England, and sales offices in Japan and Taiwan. www.artimi.com
ATEEDA Ltd. (Edinburgh, Scotland), founded in 2006, specializes in testing circuits have both analog and digital sections and has developed a tool that allows analog circuits to be tested on digital testers. www.ateeda.com
Handshake Solutions NV (Eindhoven, Netherlands), has worked with ARM Holdings plc to produce an asynchronous processor based on the ARM9 core. The ARM996HS, claimed to be the first commercial clockless processor, was disclosed in February 2006 along with the claim that it could cut power consumption to nearly one third that of a similar clocked processor core. www.handshakesolutions.com
VeriSilicon Holdings Co. Ltd. (Shanghai, China), founded in 2001, is a fabless ASIC design foundry focusing on providing semiconductor IP, design services and turnkey services including manufacturing, packaging, testing, and delivery. www.verisilicon.com
XMOS Semiconductor Ltd. (Bristol, England) is a fabless semiconductor company founded by academic computer scientist David May, in 2006. The company is developing a processor architecture and configurable hardware "fabric" that promises reduced power consumption in mobile applications. www.xmos.com