D2S Secures $9 Million in Series B Financing

Global Investors to Back Market Development Phase Of D2S' Breakthrough Design for E-Beam Technology

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- D2S, an emerging design and software company, today announced the official close of its Series B financing, raising more than $9 million. This up-round was led by Benchmark Capital and DAG Ventures, with all prior Series A investors, including Advantest Corporation and Cadence Design Systems, Inc. The Series B financing will be used to further enhance and expand the market development for D2S' design-for-e-beam (DFEB) technology, allowing semiconductor manufacturers to eliminate the barrier of rising mask costs and speed time to market. In conjunction with this new round of funding, Nick Pianim, managing director of DAG Ventures, joins the D2S board of directors. Pianim augments D2S' outside board members, which include Alex Balkanski, general partner of Benchmark Capital, and Lance Glasser, industry consultant and former chief technology officer at KLA-Tencor.

"We are privileged to have the funding and support of these premiere venture capital firms, as well as the continued strategic investment and collaboration with world leaders in the EDA and semiconductor equipment industry," said Aki Fujimura, chairman and CEO of D2S. "We will leverage this to increase momentum building around DFEB."

As the industry moves to smaller geometries, mask costs become an even bigger challenge for IC manufacturers, making low-volume production of custom ICs economically infeasible. DFEB technology tackles this dilemma head on and enables leading-edge semiconductor systems-on-chips (SoCs) to be manufactured without the upfront mask cost. With mask budgets above $3 million at 40-nm, even derivative designs that have relatively low design costs cannot be produced without a large upfront volume commitment. This latest round of funding will allow D2S to change this equation.

"This difficult environment represents an opportunity to develop breakthrough technologies for the next generation of semiconductor technology nodes," stated Balkanski. "Benchmark is extremely pleased to work with D2S to re-enable silicon innovation at the leading edge nodes."

Pianim said, "D2S signifies a special and rare opportunity as they provide a unique and innovative technology that gives manufacturers the low-risk, low-cost path they need to produce high-value devices in lower volumes."

Early market development is already underway with global industry leaders. In February of this year, D2S launched the eBeam Initiative with a group of 19 other leading companies throughout the entire semiconductor ecosystem to promote DFEB technology. The eBeam Initiative aims to increase investment in multiple supply chains and reduce the barriers to adoption, leading to an accelerated implementation among a broad number of customers. More information about this initiative can be found at www.ebeam.org.

About Design for E-beam (DFEB)

DFEB is a design-to-manufacturing approach to enhance the throughput of e-beam (EB) lithographic exposure. DFEB uses character or cell projection (CP) technology combined with design and software techniques to reduce a design's required shot count, resulting in increased CP e-beam direct-write (EbDW) throughput. A new technology backgrounder on DFEB is available on the eBeam Initiative website, www.ebeam.org.

About D2S

D2S is empowering an era of new business opportunities for electronic products by making low-volume silicon production cost effective at the 65-nanometer node and below. D2S' advanced design-for-e-beam (DFEB) design and software capabilities maximize existing e-beam technology to virtually eliminate the costs of masks and can speed time to market by shortening the design-to-lithography process flow. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., the company was founded in 2007. For more information, see: www.direct2silicon.com.

Web site: http://www.direct2silicon.com/

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