RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Raif Onvural, the North Carolina State University graduate who helped build Orologic then sold the semiconductor firm for $450 million in 2000, apparently was unable to work magic at Litchfield Communications.

The company, based in Watertown CN and focused on semiconductors for telecommunications, closed its doors recently.

Its web site simply states: “Litchfield Communications has ceased operations.”

The page also includes an interesting tribute to its staff:
“We would like to thank our team for two and a half years of fun, friendship and learning.

‘It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.’
– Mark Twain”

The Waterbury Republican-American first reported the closure.

Onvural was named president and chief executive officer in December. The company employed 25 people at the time. It had raised some $22 million in investments, according to the newspaper. Onvural left Vitesse Semiconductor, which he had joined after selling Orologic to Vitesse in 2000.

Vitesse maintained a research-and-development office in RTP after the acquisition but shut it down last July. Onvural quit. Most of the 40-som,e employees at the operation were laid off.

“We were very happy with the acquisition,” Onvural told The Business Journal when Vitesse announced the closure. “They treated us well – until the end, of course.”

Orologic was focused on so called system-on-a-chip solutions for high-speed telecommunications and Internet Protocol traffic management.

Converged networks was the target

Litchfield billed itself as creating the “Silicon Solutions for the Next Generation Network.”

When Onvural took the Litchfield job, he touted its plans for developing technology that would allow telecoms to create converged networks without gutting existing structure.

“I am very excited to become part of such a strong management and investment team,” Onvural said in a statement. “Equipment vendors have been working for a long time to deliver converged solutions for the network infrastructure, with limited success due to lack of available solutions from the component vendors. LCI will lead the development of system-on-a-chip solutions, and enable our customers to deliver solutions for converged networks without requiring any changes to the current or emerging network infrastructure.”

High-profile Kodiak Ventures was among the investors in Litchfield, and the firm praised Onvural’s selection.

“Raif Onvural has extensive experience in successfully positioning and launching fabless semiconductor startup ventures, leading strong management teams and developing solid business models,” said Dave Furneaux, a partner at Kodiak Venture Partners and Litchfield’s chairman, when Onvural was hired. “With his depth of operational and domain expertise, we believe Dr. Onvural has what it takes to optimize on the strong technology offering and significant growth potential that position Litchfield for dominance in the communications semiconductor market.”

Onvural sold Orologic to Vitesse Semiconductor in March of 2000 for $450 million in stock. He was named vice president of multiservice solutions. Onvural graduated from NCSU in 1985 with an MS in computer studies in 1985 and a PhD in operations research in 1987.

Rick Smith is managing editor of Local Tech Wire.