EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Raytheon Co. today announced it has launched a venture-backed fabless semiconductor company, called TelASIC Communications Inc., to pursue application-specific ICs for advanced wireless products.
The spin-off today also announced it will use silicon-germanium (SiGe) technology from IBM Corp. to produce high-performance wireless chip products. These devices will be based on radio-frequency technology from Raytheon.
The spin off of TelASIC here is the latest step in Raytheon's strategy to commercialize its defense electronics technologies. TelASIC has secured $22.5 million in first-round financing from venture capital partners, including Con Ventures, Mission Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and Raytheon, will own 20% of the startup company. As part of its SiGe foundry agreement, IBM has taken an equity stake in TelASIC.
"Formation of this start-up represents a disciplined, market-driven approach to penetrating high-growth markets without increased financial risk to Raytheon," said Daniel P. Burnham, chairman and CEO of Raytheon.
TelASIC is Raytheon's second spin-off since the formation of Raytheon Commercial Ventures Inc. (RCVI) in Los Angeles, which is responsible for exploiting the commercial value of defense technologies, largely by creating equity interests for Raytheon in stand-alone commercial businesses. In November, Raytheon announced the combination of its wireless local area network (WLAN) markets with Systemonic Inc. of San Jose.
Both the technology and the core team needed to create TelASIC will be spun out of Raytheon's $8 billion Electronic Systems business. "The creation of TelASIC is a significant milestone in Raytheon's strategy to identify and implement opportunities to develop commercial applications for our defense technologies," said William H. Swanson, president of Raytheon Electronic Systems.
TelASIC has selected Tony Giraudo to be its chief executive officer.Giraudo has more than 20 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, and prior to joining the startup he was a vice president and general manager at Atmel Corp.
Raytheon partnered with Milcom Technologies of Maitland, Fla., to spin off TelASIC. Milcom is a venture development company specializing in technology spinouts from the defense industry.