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Chip design start-up raises $30 million

Celoxica, a company working on software that lets computers take over chip design work currently done by humans, gets its fourth round of funding.

Celoxica, a company working on software that lets computers take over chip design work currently done by humans, has raised $30 million in its fourth round of funding, the company will officially announce Tuesday.

The company, based in Abingdon, England, raised the money from Intel, Advent Venture Partners, Cazenove Private Equity, Isis College Fund, Quester Venture Capital and Wind River Systems.

Celoxica's software lets a developer write a program in Handel-C, a variant of the widespread C programming language. Celoxica's software then translates that program into a hardware design.

The company faces competition from Hewlett-Packard, among others.

Celoxica's software works with special types of chips such as "field-programmable gate arrays" that can be reconfigured on command. Most chips, by comparison, have a fixed function etched in when they're made in factories.

Celoxica began shipping its DK1 design product in March. Wind River Systems, the top company supplier of "embedded" operating systems for non-PC devices such as network routers or cassette decks, also sells the product.

In April 2000, sound card and CD-ROM drive maker Creative Technology participated in a $20 million investment in Celoxica, which was then called Embedded Solutions. Creative said it would use Celoxica's technology to design its products.

Celoxica, founded in 1996, has more than 100 employees and has offices in Campbell, Calif.; Yokahama, Japan; and Singapore.