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Liquid Laps Up $28M

High-end server startup Liquid Computing, only recently out of stealth mode, picked up $27.7 million in Series B funding today as the firm looks to bolster its storage story. (See Liquid Computing Raises $27.7M.)

Last month, after two years in the development lab, Liquid Computing took the wraps off its flagship product -- a 26U-high server device called LiquidIQ. According to the startup's execs, LiquidIQ can deliver up to five times the bandwidth of an InfiniBand-based server, thanks to a proprietary "telecom-style" interconnect. Currently Liquid IQ offers up to 16 Gbyte/s of bandwidth although the startup expects to push it to 100 Gbyte/s within the next few years.

"We have built our own interconnect system to ensure that the load is spread across all the resources," explains Andy Church, Liquid Computing's vice president of marketing, who was unwilling to reveal too many specifics about the Linux-based product.

The exec, however, did confirm that Liquid Computing has built its own databoard, which fits onto the back of each of LiquidIQ's 20 compute modules. These modules slot into the device, and each contains four dual-core AMD Opteron processors. The databoard in turn connects with the processors' HyperTransport, a high bandwidth, low-latency technology developed by AMD. (See AMD Unveils New Chipset Design, HyperTransport Consortium Intros New Spec, and HyperTransport Consortium Adds Members.)

On the software side, Liquid Computing is using techniques called "zero copy" and "message splitting" borrowed from the telecom sector. Zero copy moves data from one memory space to another using minimal bandwidth, according to Church, while message splitting divides data packets and sends them out across available processors.

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