XCore architecture attracts Bosch investment

July 22, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
British fabless semiconductor maker XMOS Ltd, provider of multicore microcontrollers, has successfully completed a series D investment round with a total volume of $26 million. One of the investors is automotive supplier Robert Bosch through its venture capital subsidiary. The Germans were particularly impressed by XMOS' proprietary xCore architecture.

xCore distinguishes itself through its deterministic architecture and modular redundancy. Both features make xCore well suited for safety-relevant applications in the car. Not least the positioning for the automotive market was the reason why XMOS shouldered the effort to have its multiprocessor products qualified according to the demanding automotive standard AEC-Q100. Bosch hopes to benefit from the xCore architecture's performance in real-time environments. "Robert Bosch Venture Capital invested in XMOS because its xCore architecture provides huge performance advantages in complex real time control applications," explained Claus Schmidt, Executive Vice President Technology of Bosch Venture Capital.

But apparently it is not only xCore's capability and redundancy required to handle safety-related tasks in the car. The architecture also appears attractive for deployment in infotainment environments. "The XMOS processor family is the market leader in high end digital Audio Video applications, "Schmidt added. "There are multiple potential Bosch applications in the automotive and industrial markets that could benefit from these unique technologies."

The other participants in the investment round were FPGA maker Xilinx and data communications equipment provider Huawei Technologies as well as three financial investors (Amadeus Capital Partners, DFJ Esprit and Founding Capital). As usual at such opportunities, Bosch declined to provide details as to the amount invested. In any case, Honquan Jiang from Bosch will join XMOS' board of directors to represent Bosch's interests.

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