OpenSilicon invest Brite Semicondutor to develop China market

Date : 2009-01-15 Font size : A A A

During 2004-2005, it was the most prosperous periods when IPCore was competing with Versilicon. However, after IPcore collapsed almost overnight, Versilicon has converted their business to multiple development directions as well. At that time, the industry atmosphere can be described as overwhelmed depression. Although ALChip saved some face for China’s IC design outsourcing industry late on, there is strong Taiwan background for the management and investment of this company. Moreover, they focus on Japanese clients, and the proportion of their Chinese mainland business is rather small. Comparing with year 04 & 05, design foundry has become an uninterested topic at all however; there is a company, named Brite Semiconductor, rebooting the interests of design foundry recently.

Brite hosted a grand opening ceremony in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Shanghai not long ago. Although founded three-month ago, the CEO, Zhi Chunxing, doesn’t want to be defined as a Startups company. “Brite has not only mature technology, but also founded with orders, we’ve got stable incomes. Zhi Chunxing explained and emphasized that, “therefore, strictly speaking, we are not a startup company, but a new company.” It is said that Brite’s design abilities has reached 65nm, and their business has expanded to north America areas.” Many large semiconductors and OEM are our customers.”

It is necessary to introduce another core member, showed in that grand opening ceremony day, the President of Board of the Brite Semiconductor, Naveed Sherwani. Surely, for those Fabless companies in North America area, they won’t feel strange about this nameIn fact, Naveed Sherwani is the Co-founder, the present Chairmen, and the CEO of Open-Silicon. Founded in 2003, Open-Silicon provides chip design foundry service for more than 80 customers, including NXP, Creative Technology Ltd. And this company, together with venture capital companies, such Norwest, Interwest, and Gobi, established Brite Semiconductor.

“In a sense, Brite Semiconductor is the extension of Open-Silicon in China actually.” Chunxing said, “Although we are an independent company in terms of sales and adjust accounts, as the main investor, Open-Silicon provide technology and training supports for Brite, as well as help us to obtain orders in North American area. Being a design foundry company with only several years history, Open-Silicon is achieving continued successes, and announced not long ago that it has completed its hundredth tapeout since founded. And the third Quarterly (Q3) report, released on Oct. 30th, shows that the revenue of Q3 increases 49% comparing with Q3 of last year, and set a new record since founded.

“Our current job is to build up our team, and carry out American business as soon as possible.” Zhi Chunxing mentioned. However, although having strong Open-Silicon standing behind, as a new comer, how can Brite set up their own business in the depressed Chinese design foundry market? In other words, what are Brite’s advantages of development, comparing with competitors like Alchip, Verisilicon? Zhi Chunxing stressed, being different from other design foundry companies in China, Brites has higher entry level. AlChip only counts on one or two main clients, the more than 80 customer resources of Open-Silicon open a wider market for us. Except that, we started earlier in the field of advanced technology, for example, VeriSilicon hasn’t been equipped with design ability of 65nm chip, whereas Open-Silicon has already developed that.”

In this grand opening, Brite Semiconductor invited not only grandi VIPs of this industry, like Huawei, TSMC, SMIC, Jabil, but also fresh companies of China’s local design industry, like Hisilicon, HUAXUN, as well as each IP and EDA vendors. Zhi Chunxing acknowledged that Brite has already obtained two orders from Beijing and Xi’an, in terms of monitoring/Security and GPS field respectively.

There is a problem which may arouse concerns of those who related with China’s Semiconductor industry, i.e. contrasting to pouring in China several years ago, VCs are not interested in this industry any more, as China’s IC design industry has been stopped since last year. In addition, global adjustment begins to appear in semiconductor industry this year. Under such circumstance, why Open-Silicon dare to carry on investment in China? Sherwani indicated, for design outsourcing, bad economy is a kind of positive influence.

“For Open-Silicon, the main competitors are not other design foundry companies, but the design teams inside of our current and potential client companies.” Sherwani said, “and bad economy accelerates those companies to outsource design tasks”.

Being the same as other semiconductor companies, Zhi Chunxing admitted, talent issues bother Brite as well.he cost of talents in China’s IC design industry is not cheap, but shortage still exists.” He said. It is said that, because of this shortage, this company send staffs of insufficient experiences to Open-Silicon (India) and receive training there. As it is, why not directly set up new company in India? “Because there is a bigger market here” He said.

At present, Brite has around 10 members in the design team, together with 5 to 6 member in the operation support team. Main management team has five person, except Zhi Chunxing, the other four persons are Vice Director of Operation, Vice Director of Engineering, Project Manager, Marketing/Sales Supervisor and so on.