Traditionally Ethernet generations have been specified for 100 meters over versions of widely used Category 5 cables. But at the 10G generation, chip makers found they could only support distances of about 45 meters over Cat5.
Aquantia's rivals include Teranetics that released a dual-port chip consuming 6 per port last summer. The startup has announced partnerships with Mellanox and LSI Corp. Another competitor, startup Solarflare that was one of the early players in 10GBase-T, snagged $32 million in fresh financing in December,
For Aquantia, this year is largely one in which OEMs are qualifying the startup's 90 nm single-port transceivers for use in cards and systems that will ship late this year or early in 2009, said Phil Delansay, vice president of business development at Aquantia. The crossover to the 40 nm chips will come in the second half of 2010, he added.
The startup hopes to generate some excitement for its 40 nm chips at the upcoming Interop conference.
"What you will see at Interop is still the tip of the iceberg," said Delansay. "In the next six weeks [OEMs will start] announcing partnerships" with transceiver companies, he said.
"Many [OEMs] are in final phases of qualification and have not released products yet, so you will not see the most significant [design wins] at Interop this year," he added.
Aquantia has enough funding to get its 40 nm parts into production, having raised $26 million in February 2008, Delansay said. "We're very comfortable, we don't need to raise another round for 9-12 months and we just started getting revenue last quarter for our 90 nm products," he said.