Fabless Chip House XMOS Raises Cash for Global Growth

04 December 2013

XMOS Ltd., a pioneer of C-programmable, event-driven, multicore processors, has raised $14 million in equity funding from a combination of London and Silicon Valley based investors. The company expects a second closing of the round early in 2014.

XMOS (Bristol, England) said the money would be used to expand its operations worldwide on the back of strong revenue growth in 2013. XMOS CEO Nigel Toon had previously told journalists at a meeting in London that XMOS was on track to double revenue in 2013 over 2012 and had been enjoying 30 percent sequential quarterly growth.

The company is aiming to double its workforce over the next year, from about 50 people at present. The privately-held company was founded in 2005 and previous investors in the company—Foundation Capital, DFJ Esprit, Amadeus Capital Partners—participated in the latest funding round.

XMOS provides Eclipse-based integrated development environments for its event-driven, time-sliced microcontrollers and the uptake of these provide a benchmark of future chip sales. Toon said that the company has about 5,000 downloaders of its development software of which about 1,000 were "active" with the tools. However, as of October, XMOS had about 200 hardware customers. With a typical design cycle of 12 to 18 months from first exposure to chip purchasing there is plenty of sales opportunity in the pipeline, Toon said at the time.

"Revenue growth at XMOS has been averaging 30 percent quarter-on-quarter and design-wins at consumer, pro-audio, industrial and automotive customers are accelerating fast," said Toon in a statement.

XMOS is planning to open a support center in Shenzhen, China, and a sales office in Japan this month. And 2014 will see an increase in field applications engineering (FAE) support to go with sales and support office in Germany and an expansion of resources across North America.

At development centers in Bristol and Chennai, India, the company expects double the number of engineers during 2014 as it adds silicon and software development engineers. It will also recruit systems engineers with expertise in audio, video, motor-control, motion-control, and real-time communications, as part of a continued expansion of the company's portfolio of xSOFTip software modules.

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