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Trebia's $40M Secret

Trebia says SANs need dedicated network processors -- and $40+ million says investors agree

Trebia Networks Inc., a startup dedicated to the proposition that SANs need their own specialized network processor chips, has scored $30 million in a second round of funding. The round brings Trebia's total funding to over $40 million since its inception in July 2000.

Trebia says it will use the money to build its product, which it calls a storage network processor (SNP). Like the network processors that have emerged over the past year for use in broadband switches and routers, Trebia's chips will be designed as off-the-shelf network building blocks, capable of handling tasks that otherwise require complex and costly ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits).

But unlike today's network processors, Trebia's products will be designed for what the startup views as the unique requirements of storage networks. To quote its mission statement, Trebia hopes to "create an entirely new category of network processor that will redefine storage networking capabilities."

The specifics of what Trebia aims to do are still secret. Company spokespeople say an "architectural announcement" is scheduled for this fall, with a product release at an unspecified date after that. Until then, any details of its chips are strictly on the QT.

However, while the precise functions of Trebia's chips aren't known, some of its features are: Trebia plans to support a range of protocols in its products, including Fibre Channel and gigabit Ethernet. And since Trebia's Website says that the company is a member of the IP Forum of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and the iSCSI consortium of the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (IOL), it's probably safe to assume that the company intends some support of emerging specs for IP-based SANs. Trebia also is a member of the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) and the Fibre Channel consortiums of the IOL.

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