SANTA CLARA, Calif.Mellanox Technologies Ltd., which develops ICs for the InfiniBand architecture, has raised $25.7 million from Intel and others in a second round of venture funding. The year-old firm earlier received $7.6 million from venture capitalists.
In addition to Intel, Mellanox in this round also received financing from investors including Raza Venture Management, led by former Advanced Micro Devices president Atiq Raza, who will join Mellanox' board. Other members of the board are Irwin Federman and Pierre Lamond, whose companies, US Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital, respectively, participated in both rounds of financing, and Eyal Waldman, chairman and chief executive of Mellanox.
The company is developing host channel adapters, switches, and target channel adapters for the InfiniBand standard, and expects to introduce chips in at least one of those categories in the second half of this year, Waldman said.
Mellanox has been working with Intel "for a number of months" to help define its products, according to Waldman. Intel is one of the founders of the InfiniBand Trade Association, which is attempting to develop a common I/O specification for channel-based point-to-point serial connections.
Although Intel is working on InfiniBand silicon of its own that might compete with parts from Mellanox, "We're concentrated on the embedded market, while Intel will provide parts for the PC and server," Waldman said. Data communications and storage companies, as well as server makers, have expressed interest in using its chips, he added.
While its headquarters, sales and marketing, and customer support operations are based in Santa Clara, 50 of the company's 57 employees are located in Israel, where product development is taking place. Several of Mellanox' executives previously worked at Intel: in addition to Waldman, who was co-founder and vice president of engineering at Galileo Technology after a stint at Intel, its staff includes Roni Ashuri, vice president of engineering, who worked at both Galileo and Intel; and Michael Kagan, vice president of architecture, who managed Pentium/MMX development at Intel and was chief architect in the Basic Microprocessor division there.
In addition to Intel, the steering companies of the InfiniBand Trade Association are Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems. Friction recently developed between the association and embedded groups over admission to the association, with the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group and others complaining they were excluded from membership.