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Former AMD boss Atiq Raza and a bunch of his mates have set up a Silicon Valley incubator company to help start-ups in the networking and communications chips markets.

Raza Foundries aims to concentrate on startups aiming to develop Internet communications infrastructure products. One of the first companies working with Raza, Maple Networks, plans to develop processors to link optical trunk lines and local phone networks.

"In the semiconductor field, the economic value has moved from the desktop to the infrastructure," Raza said. "There has been a huge emigration from the microprocessor world into the broadband and communications world."

Indeed there has, Atiq. RF's employee list looks like a page torn out of the AMD internal phone book, including as it does Dana Krelle, former AMD vice president of marketing, Lance 'Athlon' Smith and Waqar Shah, another former AMD exec.

The firm aims to help startups during the early stages of development by formulating product strategies and then to seek further funding, an IPO, or to get bought out. But there is a heavy price to pay for working with RF – startups have had to hand over an average of 40 per cent of their equity in return for help. ®

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