April 16 , 2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ChipWrights Receives $18 Million in Financing

Visual Signal Processor Technology Continues Gaining Momentum

NEWTON, Mass., April 16, 2003 -- ChipWrights, Inc., the leader in digital signal processing technology for digital imaging applications, today announced that it has raised $18 million in its third round of equity financing. This new round brings the company’s total funding to approximately $32 million. Rock Maple Ventures led the round, which included a number of additional new investors SpaceVest, Axxon Capital, Axiom Venture Partners, Egan Managed Capital, Shiprock Capital, Adams Harkness & Hill Technology Ventures, and previous round investors Techfarm Capital, BancBoston Ventures, New England Partners, MTDC, and Band of Angels VC Fund. The SoundView Technology Group served as the Company’s sole placement agent in connection with the financing. The funding will be used for ongoing development and marketing of ChipWrights’ visual signal processor (ViSP) devices for use in a wide range of digital imaging and multimedia applications.

The company will be continuing to develop new ViSP family members for use in products ranging from mobile image/video devices such as digital still and video cameras to digital color copier and printers, to image servers and transcoders. ChipWrights’ VisSP architecture offers very high performance, flexible programmability – with unprecedented support for popular imaging algorithms including JPEG and MPEG4 encoding/decoding at low levels of power and cost. These characteristics make it an ideal platform for digital imaging applications across the consumer electronics industry.

“It is no secret that venture capital firms are highly selective these days on which companies they choose to work with and only the very best companies are able to secure funding, “ said Dennis Costello, Managing Director at Rock Maple Ventures. “We are enormously impressed with the prospects for ChipWrights because they combine innovative technology, a booming market, and an outstanding management team with a demonstrated record of customer traction and technical execution.”

"This funding underscores our success in challenging times. Closing this funding round represents another milestone in our company’s development. It follows our deal allowing Agilent Technologies to use our architecture, the delivery of our second chip, the CW4511, and the selection of our chip by EDN Magazine as one of three DSPs contending for innovation of the year award," said Brian Fitzgerald, president and CEO, ChipWrights, Inc. "ChipWrights’ ViSP platform best satisfies the mobile digital imaging market. Its novel architecture, superior performance, programmability, low power and low price means that OEMs can deliver innovative and highly competitive products faster and more economically."

About ChipWrights ChipWrights is a privately-held fabless semiconductor company offering a new class of DSP-based devices called visual signal processors (ViSPs). Built on an innovative architecture comprising a RISC processor and a highly- integrated, scalable array of DSP vector processing units, this fully programmable, low cost, low power, and very high performance system-on-chip (SoC) family is ideal for building competitive products in the mobile digital imaging and video markets. Applications range from real-time image capture/presentation to image transmission/network media infrastructure. ChipWrights provides a complete software development tool suite and hardware reference designs. Headquartered in the United States, the company has offices in Newton, MA and Tokyo, Japan. Additional information is available at www.chipwrights.com.

About Rock Maple Ventures Rock Maple Ventures, L.P. is uniquely positioned to build leading-edge companies through in-depth experience, focus on new investments and a proprietary network for business partnerships. With $80 million in capital and over 30 years of real-world executive, investment and entrepreneurial experience, Rock Maple Ventures is an active, value-added investor. Additional information is available at www.rockmapleventures.com.

About Axxon Capital Axxon Capital is a private equity firm that targets women and minority businesses. It seeks enterprising entrepreneurs with big ideas and commitment to growth. Axxon funds a range of companies, but typically seeks to build alliances with emerging and established businesses operating in the New Economy. For more information please visit www.axxoncapital.com.

About SpaceVest SpaceVest, a venture capital firm managing approximately $300 million across three funds, has attracted global institutional limited partners for over a decade. The firm, which pioneered investing in space-related technology companies, has evolved into a broader focus, which includes companies that leverage advanced technologies. SpaceVest typically leads expansion-round syndicates in US-based companies. For more information about SpaceVest, visit www.spacevest.com.

About Egan-Managed Capital Egan-Managed Capital is a New England-based venture capital firm that provides a unique funding alternative for early-stage high-technology start-ups. Leveraging more than 80 years of combined financial and business management experience, Egan-Managed Capital delivers field-tested strategies, first-hand technology expertise and hands-on management involvement. Founded in 1997, the firm currently manages two funds with $143 million in committed capital. For more information on Egan-Managed Capital and its team please visit www.egancapital.com.

About Shiprock Capital Shiprock Capital , founded by Richard C. Shipley, Chairman of Shipley Company LLC, is a private equity firm that invests in the development of early and expansion stage technology companies in the fields of information technology and the physical sciences. For more information, contact shiprockcapital@earthlink.net.

About Adams, Harkness & Hill Technology Ventures Adams, Harkness & Hill Technology Ventures is a venture capital firm closely affiliated with the technology franchise of leading emerging growth investment bank, Adams, Harkness & Hill. The firm invests nationwide in four segments of technology: Software, emerging growth semiconductors, technology manufacturing solutions, and technology services. For more information, visit www.ahhventures.com.

 

About Axiom Venture Partners L.P. Axiom Venture Partners provides capital and strategic assistance to rapidly growing high technology companies. Axiom's professionals bring substantial investing experience and industry expertise to the venture capital process. With over $200M in capital under management, the firm seeks to consider investment proposals in two main industry areas. The first is high technology, which includes communications, software, Internet infrastructure, and information technology. Biotechnology constitutes the second area. Through its office in Connecticut, Axiom invests actively throughout the United States in early or late stage companies. For more information, visit www.axiomventures.com[pl

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