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Intel & Emulex: iSCSI Tag Team?

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX) are teaming up on a joint development project, which would appear to involve Emulex licensing some Intel components and bringing a high-performance iSCSI adapter to market.

The two companies yesterday said they plan to announce details of a joint development agreement on April 15 at the Storage Networking World conference in Phoenix.

Emulex, one of the leading makers of Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) for SANs, has lately been quiet about its iSCSI strategy. It acquired Giganet in December 2000 in a stock deal then valued at $645 million, which was supposed to launch Emulex into the IP storage networking world. But as the iSCSI market stagnated, the Giganet technology has seen little or no traction to date.

So what's the new Intel/Emulex partnership all about? In an interview with Byte and Switch this week, Mike Wall, general manager of Intel's Storage Components Group, gave us a hint.

"Emulex has their own iSCSI agenda... although they're actually using our XScale technology to implement that moving forward," he said. "Their technology has to enable their current users of their Fibre Channel technology to make the transition seamlessly." (For the full interview, see Mike Wall, GM of Intel's Storage Components Division.)

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