December 9âX-Epic, a Chinese semiconductor software startup, has just secured $ 30.5 million during its last fundraiser. Founded in March, the company specializes in manufacturing platforms for the design and verification of integrated circuits (ICs).
The company grew $ 60 million this year because of its potential to revolutionize the Chinese electronic components industry.
X-Epic’s impressive pedigree
Despite being one of the world’s major electronic component production centers, China lacks a thriving backend manufacturing ecosystem. Today, many of the region’s major chip makers depend on foreign suppliers for the software tools used in the design and evaluation of their new integrated circuits.
X-Epic CEO and Founder Wang Libin wants to change that reality with his startup of semiconductor design and verification software.
Before going on his own, Wang spent 20 years gaining a wealth of experience in the industry. In 2000, he started working as an engineer at the recently launched outpost of Cadence Design Systems in Shenzhen. This work allowed the future executive to familiarize themselves with the industry’s leading electronic design automation (EDA) software.
Fifteen years later, Wang joined Synopsys, a leading supplier that manufactures EDA tools for companies such as Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
Wang’s stint at Synopsys helped him broaden his technological knowledge base and expertise. These resources have helped Wang successfully launch his startup and hire people like YT Lin, a Synopsys veteran who is now the company’s vice president of research and development. The company also appointed Cadence’s former R&D vice president, Dr TC Lin, as chief scientist.
Due to its impressive pedigree, X-Epic is one of this year’s most promising semiconductor startups.
Rapid rise of X-Epic
While the mastermind of X-Epic has remarkable experience, that’s not the only reason to believe he could be a major player in the industry.
Last month the company presented Epic elf, a new high-performance, field-programmable gate array (FPGA) verification solution. The startup’s new platform allows users to evaluate their latest designs in a robust simulation environment. Its tool enables up to 1.2 Gbps of data transmission over a single line and supports multiple interface protocols and design architectures, including x86, NPU, RISC-V, and Arm.
X-Epic claims that EpicElf will dramatically speed up a chipmaker’s verification processes while significantly reducing their running costs.
With these benefits, the company’s new platform could be of interest to FPGA manufacturers around the world. But its backers believe the startup could have the biggest impact on its home market.
Due to the trade war between the United States and China, the region is in need of local chipmaking software, equipment and materials. Beijing recently made semiconductor independence one of its most pressing national priorities. X-Epic investors believe that its management, operational methodologies and technological sophistication will enable it to become a premier verification platform provider.
In fact, Gaorong Capital co-founder Yue Bin said the startup will develop “breakthroughs in EDA technology” in the future.
In just seven months, X-Epic has filled its staff with several seasoned industry professionals, raised $ 60.5 million in outside investments, and launched a very intriguing product. With any luck, the startup could become one of China’s most successful semiconductor companies by the end of its second year.