'Scenix News [OT] [AD]'
John C. Frenzel
Maybe Microchip is going to get a bit more competition from Scenix
Cisco, Dell invest in Internet chip firm Scenix
By Joe Wilcox
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
May 19, 2000, 10:05 a.m. PT
Scenix, a provider of communications software and controllers, has secured a
$42.1 million equity investment from Cisco, Dell and others.
JaoTech Ventures, MSD Capital, Nohau and a half dozen other companies also
contributed funding, which privately-held Scenix will use to add
manufacturing facilities, increase research and development, and boost sales
and marketing efforts.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Scenix supplies embedded Internet chips and
software to OEMs, original equipment manufacturers, for use in consumer and
other electronic devices, such as gaming consoles and digital wireless
microphones). Scenix's technology, for example, is used in the Sony
Scenix is trying to carve out a niche in the embedded systems market,
enabling a wide range of consumer and business devices to communicate over
Market researcher Cahners In-Stat estimated that embedded system makers
shipped 4.9 billion units last year. The researcher estimates that figure
will reach 7.3 billion units annually in 2002.
As of December, Scenix had shipped just over 1 million units of its main
product, the SX Series communications controller. Since Scenix is privately
held, it does not disclose financial results.
Neither Cisco's nor Dell's support for Scenix is surprising, given both
companies' market positions. Cisco has been on an Internet hardware buying
and investing spree, this month picking up an optical networking firm and a
switch maker, among others.
Dell has been aggressive in backing up-and-comers, which often includes
seeding its systems or an outright buying commitment. The company has also
upped its investment plans in other companies. On April 5, the Round Rock,
Texas PC maker recast itself as an Internet infrastructure provider
William Chops Westfield
> Scenix, a provider of communications software and controllers, has secured
> a $42.1 million equity investment from Cisco, Dell and others.
Sheesh. I guess all you have to do is rename your microcontrollers to
cisco (I don't know anything about this, though.)
>> Scenix, a provider of communications software and controllers, has secured
>> a $42.1 million equity investment from Cisco, Dell and others.
>Sheesh. I guess all you have to do is rename your microcontrollers to
>cisco (I don't know anything about this, though.)
It's pretty clear that Scenix was going after the "communications"
market from day 1. Simple architectures that run at 50-100 MIPS,
code in flash/EEROM for easy updates [like "this" week's modem std],
plus [the primary evidence] the larger chip 48/52-pinouts come
only in small pitch SMT - no PLCC available [much to my dismay].
This last fact indicates they were really targeting large volume
apps, with comm obviously being the major player today. After all,
how many small volume apps can put a 52-pin QFP on the board?
To qualify this, the Scenix chips really don't have enough gut
level power to do "real" DSP-type comm, which requires large data
RAM, h.w. multipliers, and 24- to 32-bit architectures, but they
are fine for rudimentary bit handling at blistering speed.
- Dan Michaels
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