Swiss memory chip innovators attract $6 mln venture capital

This high-tech chip technoology is in demand. Soitec Technologies

Lausanne-based Innovative Silicon, Inc. announced it has raised $6 million in a first round of venture capital funding.

This content was published on March 17, 2004 - 12:35

The deal was led by Geneva-based Index Ventures, joined by Paris-based Auriga Partners and Soitec Technologies SA, a Benin, France based wafer manufacturer.

One of the co-founders, Pierre Fazan, is a part-time professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL.

But he has worked in industry, most recently in a management capacity at EM Microelectrics in Marin, Switzerland, a leading manufacturer of low-power semiconductors.

Before that he developed computer memories, so-called DRAM chips, at Micron Technology in Idaho in the US.

He led a team that discovered how to use "silicon on insulator" processes (the same type of semiconductor that Soitec manufactures) to make a single transistor DRAM cell, which investors hope will enable a future generation of much denser memory chips.

The company has been working on commercializing the breakthrough made in the labs in 2001 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

by Valerie Thompson

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