SUNNYVALE, Calif.--Silicon Image Inc. here today announced plans to apply its high-bandwidth PanelLink chip technology to data storage systems and the acquisition of Zillion Technologies, a developer of high-speed transmission techniques for those applications.
The Sunnyvale company initially focused its efforts on digital display applications, using its technology to provide a high-bandwidth chip solution for local interconnect between host systems and displays. "Having broken the $1/gigabit barrier, PanelLink is a de facto standard for digital displays with more than 10 million units shipped to date," declared David Less, president and CEO of Silicon Image. He added that the expansion of the Multi-layer Serial Link (MSL) technology will now deliver the same cost-savings and performance advantages in storage applications as those subsystems move from parallel to serial interfaces.
Zillion Technologies contributed in drafting the preliminary Serial ATA specification for the industry, according to Silicon Image. Zillion also developed the serialization and de-serialization logic for the Serial ATA prototype demonstrated at the February 2000 Intel Developer Forum, said Silicon Image.
Initially, Silicon Image said it intends to address the system interface between the CPU and the internal hard disk, which has been identified as a potential bottleneck for performance by makers of PCs and disk drives. The company noted that a high-speed serial interface offers a logical and efficient alternative to the existing parallel interface.
"Implementing high-speed, serial interconnect technology into electrically noisy and harsh PC environments is no easy feat," Lee said. "However, we believe Silicon Image is well positioned to assume a lead role in Serial ATA implementation. With our expertise implementing the Digital Visual Interface (DVI) on both the PC host and display sides of the link, we have a unique perspective on the challenges inherent with a PC interface. In addition, we have recently acquired top-notch expertise and experience in storage systems and related semiconductor design," he said referring to the Zillion acquisition.
Silicon Image did not released details of the acquisition. Separately today, the Sunnyvale company posted $12.4 million in revenues during the second quarter, an increase of 194% from $4.2 million in sales last year. The company's net income, excluding stock compensation and warrant expenses, was $1.3 million, vs. a net loss of $772,000 in the period last year.