Rumors of Lightspeed's demise denied by company
By Ron Wilson, EE Times
September 11, 2003 (12:11 p.m. EST)
SAN MATEO, Calif. A hitch has slowed the growing momentum of the structured-ASIC segment this week as rumors swept Silicon Valley that Lightspeed Semiconductor (Sunnyvale, Calif.,) one of the founders of the structured-ASIC concept, was shutting its doors.
In fact, the company is tightening its belt, not throwing in the towel, according to Lightspeed spokeswoman Darwa Peterson. "We are laying off a total of 18 people, the bulk in the U.S. and several in Europe," Peterson said. "No engineers or applications support people will be released. This is a move to tighten our focus on our business and bring expenses in line, not a change in our business plan," she added.
Dire rumors had spread quickly about the company. Lightspeed is closely watched perhaps disproportionately for a company of its size and financial standing because it is closely associated with the structured-ASIC market. It is currently at the center of efforts to create a consortium of structured-ASIC vendors to advance the concept. Hence, Lightspeed is seen by some as a bellwether for the segment.
Despite the layoffs, however, Lightspeed remains committed to the segment, Peterson said. Other players, including most recently Fujitsu Microelectronics America (Sunnyvale, Calif.), have reported rapidly increasing design wins for their structured-ASIC products.
Since design wins tend to precede significant growth in revenues by at least two quarters, growing market presence and belt tightening can in fact be seen as consistent.