NETANYA, Israel Startup company Lucid Information Technology Ltd. has raised a $12 million round of funding from Intel Capital, Giza Venture Capital and Genesis Partners. The company raised $4.5 million in its first round in 2005, having started up in August 2003 with $500,000 from Maayan Ventures (see Aug. 4, 2005 story).
Lucid (Kfar Netter, Israel), which employs 27 workers, aims to provide a graphics acceleration traffic organizing chip that can support up to four graphics processing units (GPUs) simultaneously. Lucid said it expects to have first full production silicon samples by the end of 2007. The company plans to hit volume sales with a large board manufacturer such as Asustek, Leadtek or GigaByte and a system integrator such as Dell, HP or Alienware.
Lucid's chip is mainly targeted at the gaming computer industry. The company estimates that PCs consume at least 60 million GPUs annually, while new games demand more computation than a single GPU can provide.
The chip acts like a hub connecting the main processor to the multiple graphics processors, serving as a traffic cop. One part of it is a chip situated between the two units, and the other part is a software driver, that now supports Windows. The chip helps divide the graphics processing work among several GPUs, while the driver helps makes the application indifferent to the graphics processors in use.
Processor licensor Tensilica Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) announced in April 2006 that Lucid had licensed its Diamond Standard 212GP general-purpose processor core for a scalable multi-GPU chip design project.
Lucid was co-founded by its CTO Reuven Bakalash and its president Offir Remez. The company's CEO, Moshe Steiner, has served as the chief operation officer of Oplus Technologies Ltd., prior to its acquisition by Intel. Before that, Steiner served as vice president and co-general manager of Marvell Israel (Galileo Technology).