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Chelsio Charms Sun, Intel Execs

Startup Chelsio Communications Inc. has lured two executives away from Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), as the company beefs up its 10-Gigabit Ethernet strategy.

John Brennan, former Sun engineering vice president, and Eric Taborek, former Intel executive, will now assume senior positions at the startup. Brennan, who was responsible for hardware engineering on Suns midrange and high-end servers, will oversee the hardware and software engineering teams at Chelsio.

Taborek joined Intel following its 2001 acquisition of VxTel Inc., where he was vice president of sales and marketing (see Intel to Acquire VxTel for $550 Million). At Intel, he was responsible for managing the chip manufacturer’s relationships with industry partners such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). At Chelsio, he will be responsible for driving industry deployment of the firm’s 10-Gigabit Ethernet server adapters and acceleration technology.

The appointments come at an important time for the Sunnyvale Calif.-based company, which only emerged from stealth a few months ago with the launch of its T110 product, a 10-Gigabit Ethernet TCP (Transport Control Protocol) offload engine. Since then, the company has also launched the N110, a half-sized PCI-X interface card (see Chelsio Debuts 10-GigE Adapter and Chelsio Unveils Server Adapter).

Competition in this part of the market is starting to heat up. Chelsio finds itself up against another California startup, Cupertino-based S2io Technologies Corp., which unveiled its Xframe offering, a 10-Gig Ethernet PCI-X adapter, at a Gartner Inc. ITxpo event last October. More recently, S2io announced software drivers for Sun’s coming Solaris 10 operating system (see Sunny S2io Supports Solaris)

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