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Chip Express Raises $12 Million in Funding, Unveils New Name; As ChipX, the Structured ASIC Leader Continues Driving Technical Innovation and New Product Development.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 22, 2004

Chip Express, the Structured ASIC leader, today announced that it has secured $12 million in additional financing from investment firms and corporate partners.

The funding will be used for R&D investments in the company's Structured ASIC technology. The company also announced that it has changed its name to ChipX in order to more strongly identify with the Structured ASIC market, which is undergoing significant growth and displays tremendous potential.

The funding round was led by a new investor, VantagePoint Venture Partners, and included former investors Elron Electronic Industries, Ltd. (Nasdaq:ELRN), Wasserstein Venture Capital, UMC (NYSE:UMC), Needham Capital Partners, Newlight Associates, Parker Price Venture Capital, and Insite Capital.

Doron Birger, President and CEO of Elron, has been appointed Chairman of the ChipX Board of Directors, replacing founding chairman Uzia Galil, who has stepped down. Melissa Crane Guzy, Managing Director of VantagePoint Venture Partners, also joins the ChipX board as a new director.

"There is a direct correlation between shrinking silicon geometries and the benefits of using Structured ASIC technology to shorten prototyping and reduce NRE costs," said Amnon Fisher, ChipX President and CEO. "As line widths decrease, mask costs and design complexity increase exponentially, forcing OEMs to look for new methods for high-performance ASIC design. We are uniquely positioned to take advantage of these market trends."

"ChipX has broadened its structured ASIC product portfolio and now offers a true alternative to standard cell ASICs for most developers. We believe that this is an important step forward for the industry," said Guzy.

"With the new financing, the addition of Vantage Point Venture Partners as a strong shareholder, and with Amnon Fisher as a new CEO, ChipX will establish itself as the Structured ASIC leader by driving the technology to ever-higher performance levels," said Birger.

Structured ASICs are a new category of semiconductors targeted at developers who are looking for the fast-turn capabilities of FPGAs without their high unit cost, and those who want to take advantage of the relatively low unit costs of ASICs without paying high NREs. Structured ASIC devices reduce much of the up-front NRE and shorten development time by using pre-diffused transistors and metal layers to implement logic cells, memory, and I/O common to many designs. Custom logic for a specific application is then implemented in the final few layers of metal, requiring far fewer mask layers for each design.

About ChipX

ChipX, formerly known as Chip Express, is a leading manufacturer of late-stage programmable application-specific integrated circuits, or Structured ASICs. The company's innovative, patented technology consolidates wafer production tooling, reduces time-to-market and minimizes the cost of initial production. ChipX Structured ASIC technology is widely used in automotive telematics, computing peripherals, communications, high-end consumer electronics, industrial control, medical equipment and military/aerospace systems.

Headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, ChipX is a privately held corporation, founded in the U.S. in 1989. A subsidiary, ChipX (Israel) Ltd., performs Research & Development. Investors include Elron Electronic Industries, Ltd., VantagePoint Venture Partners, Wasserstein Venture Capital, Newlight Associates, Parker Price Venture Capital, UMC, Needham Capital Partners and Insite Capital.

About VantagePoint Venture Partners

VantagePoint Venture Partners is one of the nation's largest venture capital firms that actively works with management teams and its strategic partners to build technology leaders. As an active multi-stage investor, the Firm provides funding and resources for all stages of a company's lifecycle from seed round through late stage and privately negotiated investments in public companies. Founded in 1996, VantagePoint has more than $2.5 billion in committed capital in four funds supported by 27 investment professionals. VantagePoint is based on a full-service 'Partner-Team' approach that provides entrepreneurs with a blend of technology, venture capital, operations, marketing, and corporate-finance expertise. The company focuses on technology investments in the communications, semiconductor, and software sectors, as well as related growth industries including CleanTech, healthcare commerce and Internet 3.0. For more information, please visit the VantagePoint website at

This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current information available to ChipX as of the date hereof. These statements are based on Management's current expectations and may ultimately prove to be incorrect or false. Factors which could cause future results to differ materially from the results discussed, implied, or forecasted in the forward-looking statements include delays in scheduled product availability dates (which could result from various occurrences including development or testing difficulties, software errors, shortages in appropriately skilled engineers and project management problems); the risks inherent in the commercialization of the Company's anticipated products and services; shifts in customer or market demand for the Company's anticipated products; the impact of competitive products and pricing; and possible disruptive effects of organizational changes, including retaining key personnel and coordinating operations. ChipX assumes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

(C) 2004 ChipX. All other products or service names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Mar 22, 2004
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