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This Sucks

Recent ATI graduate and rock star, Calxeda, will be shutting its doors.  Investors unexpectedly pulled the plug on the company, which developed a novel architecture to allow low-power ARM chips to drive servers.

Calxeda came to ATI as one person, Barry Evans.  We bought into his dream of using low-energy consumption chips to drive server clusters for some applications.  While at ATI, he received his seed investment from one of our advisors, strategic investment from an important partner, and Texas Emerging Technology Fund investment.  This funding allowed him to go from concept to simulations of the fabric software/controller, which let him attract some outstanding talent (Calxeda was 10 people when they graduated from the Incubator).  It also positioned him to raise more than $100 million in risk capital immediately after graduation, and grow the company to more than 125 people here in Austin.

Those people just got pink slips.  That’s awful.  So is the fact that Calxeda won’t be the company that exploits the beachhead that they made in the ultra-low power server market.

But Calxeda burned bright.  It brought a lot of really talented people (and a lot of money) to Austin.  I don’t know what’s going to happen to the core IP or to the core team, both of which are massively valuable assets.  I’m pretty sure, though, that this won’t be the last really interesting chip architecture company that’s made in Austin.

To Barry and his team, we raise a glass in sorrow, but also in deep appreciation.

This blog was written by ATI’s head director, Isaac Barchas