By support, I do not mean money necessarily. Actually there is some sizeable money around but it's being squandered because there is no clear strategy. People in grey suits who understand very little about technology are making decisions based on noise and ill-informed prejudice mainly.
As for the rest, I agree. I am not particularly happy to see successful British start-ups sold to foreign companies. There is no fundamental reason for not growing these businesses further from the UK.
I don't think it is about the level of the support the government provides. You can't have both a gargantuan NHS and then the high level of support for the businesses.
What British semiconductor companies should do is all but to forget about even the fact US exists. It means not hoping you will be eventually bought by an US company, automatically setting your mindset for the eventual failure and sale, or to buy second rate companies in US because you think that it is all the successful British companies should do.
We need many more people like Chris, and a proper Government strategy to support semiconductor firms in the UK. You know and I know that the latter in particular is not going to happen, and that is why British start-ups' main realistic hope is to be acquired by a big foreign firm. This has been the case for many years now and I can't see it changing anytime soon, despite all the talk from the current Government...
The point is that Chris managed to survive in a business climate unfriendly to semiconductor companies for so long. All the criticism expressed here is probably valid. However the point is that at least Toumaz managed to hang on for so long. It reminds me a bit Qualcomm before CDMA became really big. There has been so many British chip startups in recent years who sold to US OEMs, I think it began to colour the thinking for the exit strategy. Ikanos communications hung on for 7 years, if I am not mistaken, before floating.
I second these thoughts. Toumaz' sub-threshold technology is interesting but they need to settle on a market segment to start monetising their technology. I doubt they will survive on their own though - an acquisition by a tier-1 OEM is their best exit startegy IMHO.
Serious contender in some markets?
Not sure about that.
I agree that Toumaz Ltd. has been around for a decade but continued existence is not success. I am not sure how much product they actually have sold or to whom -- although they do have design wins for a Xenif chip into Pure. Toumaz is now listed so that explains where some of money has come from.
Toumaz Ltd. made a net loss of £6.8 million (about $10.7 million) on revenues of £2.3 million (about $3.6 million) in its financial year to December 31, 2011. And yet it is buying the considerably larger, but privately held Frontier Silicon.
In my opinion, the Toumaz story so far has mainly been about development and prototyping and a lot of company set ups, mergers, spin-offs, and so on.
At some point the company has to settle down and start getting some consistent sales and profits and then it can be a contender, perhaps using its near-threshold operation technology. And maybe it is Anthony Sethill that can help them do that?
Well I am sure Anthony Sethill would only do a deal that was good for Toumaz shareholders ..... but his knowledge of Frontier would have made due dilligence easier.
Also it can be seen that Frontier's market in DAB is likely to be hitting a bit of a wall...but merging it with the medical aspirations of Toumaz may help.
Strange Acquisition! Unestablished (recently funded with 8m$) wireless sensor company buying DAB/consumer radio chip company with borrowed money!. Makes no sense.
"As a result Anthony Sethill, founder and former CEO of Frontier and now CEO of Toumaz, will get to resume leading the team of people he left at the end of 2011."
And the founder of Frontier is now CEO at Toumaz!! Does that have anything to do with the deal?
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 15 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...