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Semiconductor Company Flex Logix Raises $7.4 Million in Funding

The startup, which makes technology to embed FPGAs into SoCs, will use the money to expand its sales and engineering groups.

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Flex Logix Technologies, a semiconductor startup whose technology enables chip makers to put programmable capabilities directly onto the processor, is getting $7.4 million in its latest round of funding.

Company executives announced Oct. 26 that the funding was led by Eclipse Ventures, with founding investors Lux Capital and the Tate Family Trust also pitching in. Flex Logix will use the money to grow its engineering and sales units as well as expand its marketing efforts.

"We are today recruiting leaders in chip design, sales and networking applications architecture," Flex Logix CEO Geoff Tate said in a statement. "This financing will help us hire the best possible people to support our growing customer base."

Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are chips that can be reprogrammed to run a range of applications, offering hardware and software makers greater flexibility in the workloads that run in systems. FPGAs can be configured to run one workload, then reprogrammed to run another. For Web-scale companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which run massive data centers that handle multiple workloads and constantly changing demands, such flexibility is attractive. Microsoft last year unveiled Project Catapult, an initiative aimed at using FPGAs to improve the performance in cloud data centers.

Intel this summer announced it is spending $16.7 billion to buy FPGA maker Altera in a push to improve its data center and Internet of things (IoT) efforts.

Because of their programmability, FPGAs are becoming increasingly popular as accelerators with server makers, which have been using such technologies as GPUs to help increase the performance of systems without ramping up power consumption.

Flex Logix, with its EFLXTM Arrays, enables FPGAs to be embedded into a system-on-a-chip (SoC) rather than stand alone as its own chip.

"We want to build a better FPGA," Tate, founder and former CEO of computer memory chip maker Rambus, told eWEEK in an interview in February, when the company came out of stealth mode. "Everything else is being integrated into SoCs. Why aren't FPGAs being integrated? There is a lot of interest in this."