Ponte Solutions Receives $7.5 Million in Series B Funding

Ponte Solutions(TM), a DFM solutions company, announced it has raised $7.5 million in Series B funding, bringing total funding to date to $17 million. In addition, Ponte has added industry luminaries Michael Smayling to its technical advisory board, and longtime semiconductor manufacturing and EDA executive, Michael Buehler-Garcia, as its new vice president of marketing and business development.

The Mayfield Fund led the Series B investment, with additional funding from U.S. Venture Partners and private investors.

“With this new funding we will strengthen our leadership in critical area analysis and expand our offerings to address other important facets of the DFM market,” said Alex Alexanian, Ponte president and CEO. “Equally impressive is the collection of semiconductor process, design, and marketing expertise represented by our talented and highly experienced board, and our newest additions, Michael Smayling, and Michael Buehler-Garcia.”

According to Mayfield Fund venture partner, John Stockton, who also serves on the Ponte board of directors, Ponte’s technology as it is integrated into the different process development and design flows will alter the DFM landscape. “Customers have either been developing their own DFM offerings or working to integrate point tools and process data from various sources,” Stockton said. “Ponte realizes that customers don’t want more of the same, but instead real solutions that cross the chasm between design and manufacturing.”

“Ponte (Italian for ‘bridge’) is all about building the bridge between design and manufacturing,” said Buehler-Garcia. “Fabs speak about the manufacturing process in terms of physical components and chemical reactions, and view products as layers; while designers speak about electrical circuits and layout polygons, and view products hierarchically. The Ponte platform translates physical, chemical, and layer-based manufacturing process variability into deviations from original design intent, something designers understand. At the same time, Ponte’s strategy is also to help fab engineers account for a range of design intent when developing and optimizing manufacturing processes and recipes, thus bridging the gap between manufacturing and design.”

Hogan, appointed Ponte’s chairman of the board last September, has worked in the semiconductor industry for over three decades. His experience includes time as a senior executive in electronic design automation, semiconductor intellectual property, semiconductor equipment, venture capital, and fabrication companies. Joining him on the company’s board of directors are Alexanian; Stockton; Dr. Ara Markosian, Ponte CTO; Dr. Winston Fu, general partner, U.S. Venture Partners; Dan Maydan, president-emeritus, Applied Materials, Inc.; and Dr. Sang Wang, former CEO of Nassda Corporation.

Smayling is an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. He was CTO of the Maydan Technology Center at Applied Materials where he developed advanced processes for sub-45nm technology nodes. At Texas Instruments, Smayling became a TI Fellow, and was responsible for DRAM, Flash, and mixed-signal technology development and productization. He holds more than 80 U.S. patents, and is credited with over 50 publications and presentations covering DFM, MOS devices, process technology, Flash memory, LDMOS transistors, photolithography, and lasers. He was a lecturer at Rice University for over 10 years while at TI, is a Senior Member of IEEE, and represented TI and Applied Materials at SRC.

Buehler-Garcia has a lengthy track record in high-tech dating to the early 1980s. Before joining Ponte, he was managing director for Alanza Technologies, a consulting company to the semiconductor ecosystem. Buehler-Garcia previously held the title of vice president of worldwide marketing and business development for iRoC Technologies, a leader in providing soft-error solutions, and held the same position at Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing. He also served as vice president and general manager of the DFM Business Unit for PDF Solutions, and was group director of Strategic Relationship Marketing at Cadence Design Systems.

About Ponte Solutions
Ponte Solutions, Inc. develops and markets unique model-based software products and design for manufacturing (DFM) solutions that analyze, predict, and reduce the impact of process variability during the manufacture and design of semiconductors. Ponte customers include leading semiconductor companies, foundries, and design houses worldwide. Founded in 2002, the venture-backed company has received funding from The Mayfield Fund, U.S. Venture partners, Incubic LLC, Silicon Ventures LLC, and others. The company has offices in Mountain View, Calif., and Yerevan, Armenia.