Despite the sudden vitality of the high-tech sector on Wall Street, and the rapturous reception given to several initial public offerings over the past four months, the venture capital market in the US is far from buoyant, and is tending to look decidedly risk-averse. Latest victim of the trend, according to today’s issue of Omri Serlin’s Supermicro newsletter is one of the most exciting fledgling companies of recent years, Vitesse Electronics. Vitesse is the Camarillo, California firm that has developed Gallium Arsenide versions of the Advanced Micro Devices Am2900 bit slice family, and also has a Digital Products Division developing a minisupercomputer with the technology (CI No 524). Now, says Serlin, Vitesse’s main backer, Nolton Co, has pulled out, leaving Vitesse to embark on a frantic quest for new cash. And so far, the company has won enough enthusiasm for the GaAs side to ensure its survival, but none for the minisupercomputer side, now threatened with closure.
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