Fresco Microchip, a chipmaker that builds semiconductors destined for televisions, has raised $10 million from Celtic House Venture Partners and Ventures West. The secret to the company’s success so far is that it makes a small, cheap chip that filters image distortions from radio, analog and digital signals. Fresco is banking on the fact that consumer device makers, which are always keen on lowering their expenses, will use Fresco silicon instead of higher-cost options from competitors.
Fresco’s chips can go inside televisions, DVD players, converter boxes and set-top boxes, and being able to make them cheap counts for a lot. The company is profitable and has raised $30 million since its founding in 2004. It competes with Panasonic and NXP, smaller vendors such as Microtune and Xceive, as well as Silicon Labs, a $400 million public company, which sells about $25 million in tuners every year.