Nvidia Buys iReady

As expected, iReady's been sold; but its buyer was unexpected

April 27, 2004

2 Min Read
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iReady Corp., a maker of TCP offload engines (TOEs) and iSCSI processors, has been bought by Nvidia Corp., which makes graphical and commmunications processors for PCs and workstations.

Terms of the purchase weren't disclosed, though one industry insider puts the price at a shockingly low $6 million. For that, the source says, Nvidia's getting iReady's intellectual property and most of its hardware engineers. Both companies are headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif.

IReady's sale was expected, and, given its precarious financials, it wouldn't be surprising if its final sale price were low. The company lost millions over the last couple of years, as revealed in SEC documents filed by National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: NSM), which owned 16 percent of the company (see iReady to Go).

IReady CEO and founder Ryo Koyama isn't commenting on his company's selling price. He says the sale occurred in the course of looking for new funding. And he acknowledges Nvidia's getting an undisclosed number of patents and patent applications -- one is listed on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Website, for a "multiple network protocol encoder/decoder and data processor."

Koyama says the core team of engineers going to Nvidia is "material." The firm, he tells us, had 52 employees at the end. His own plans include staying on board for another three months or so to help with the integration effort. After that, he's not sure where his next project will take him.It may surprise some that the TOE and iSCSI offloaders iReady developed are going to a non-storage company. At one point, Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX) was said to be a potential candidate to buy iReady for its HBAs. And LSI Logic Corp. (NYSE: LSI) was also rumored to have an interest based on a licensing deal -- a deal Koyama says never took place.

But Koyama notes that Nvidia's interest in motherboard chipsets for servers, particularly for Ethernet environments, make it a candidate for adding iSCSI and TOE capabilities. Storage via iSCSI is part of any server OEM's future, he indicates.

Nvidia did not return a request for information at press time.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

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