Chip design
firm raises €10m


22 Dec 2005

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Leopardstown-based chip design firm Silicon and Software Systems (S3) has closed a €10m investment deal with ACT Venture Capital. The company will use the funding to support its expansion into Asia as well as strengthen sales and marketing operations in Europe and the US.

“This investment will enable S3 to accelerate the development of our innovative product and services businesses in these areas and in particular to expand our customer reach in Asia,” explained S3’s chief executive John O’Brien.

S3 was established in 1986 and now has 300 employees with operations in six countries; Ireland, US, the Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic and the UK. The company has operated as a subsidiary of Dutch consumer electronics giant Philips. As part of the €10m funding agreement, Philips Electronics via Philips Electronics Ireland Limited (PEIL) will maintain a strategic shareholding in S3 and will continue to be a key customer and technology partner of the company.

The company develops semiconductor intellectual property, software solutions and design solutions for the mobile, digital consumer, communications and medical systems markets for some of the world’s biggest electronics and media companies. Customers include Texas Instruments, Lucent Technologies, Philips, Toshiba, STMicroelectronics and Sky. It also engages in collaborations with IBM, Intel, Xilinx and OpenTV.

S3’s products include mixed-signal internet protocol, broadband access solutions for Intel’s latest processors and the world’s first DVB-H software solution for the emerging mobile TV market.

“S3 is an extremely innovative Irish-based company with an outstanding reputation in its chosen technology sectors,” commented Cel O’Reilly, managing director of PEIL. “We consider that now is an opportune time to provide S3 with a platform for quantum growth with an additional investment partner, namely ACT Venture Capital.”

By John Kennedy