Just four months after emerging from stealth mode, Tier Logic has apparently joined the long list of promising FPGA ventures that couldn't make it work. For those who don't like to follow links, the gist of it is that Tier Logic was developing FPGAs with the programming circuitry stacked in a layer above the base arrays. This allowed for higher density, and (presumably) better performance. Unfortunately, according to the news in EETimes:
"Despite the fact that we had only spent less than $20 million, we couldn’t get a lead investor to come in to a series B funding round," Hollingworth wrote in an email to EETimes.
Hollingworth described the failure to secure funding as "an interesting comment on the market right now." While record revenues and profits are being reported by the likes of programmable logic suppliers Xilinx Inc. and Altera Corp., as well as other chip large companies like Intel Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc., venture capitalists have seen very few successful exits from chip companies over the past few years and are "therefore extremely reluctant to invest in startups, even ones that had made the progress we had," Hollingworth wrote.
While we are certainly taking a different approach to developing better FPGAs, it's still sad to see such a spectacular flame out. Especially since, such a short time ago, the company was full of confidence and optimism. This doesn't bode well for the rest of us that are out there hoping to, eventually, raise a few pennies to help our own ventures get going…