TCP offload engine (TOE) vendor iReady Corp. is set to announce a family of low-cost iSCSI controllers and adapters next week -- but, like others in this overcrowded segment, it doesn't have any design wins yet and is expecting to need additional capital to stay afloat.
In its favor, iReady has a major partner in National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: NSM), which is also an investor. Ryo Koyama, cofounder and CEO of iReady, says the company's competitive advantage is that it has a highly integrated solution that combines the iReady TOE technology with National Semi's Ethernet MAC and PHY chips, as well as the ability to perform IPSec encryption at "full line rate."
"The integration allows us to get very aggressive price points -- you have to get to the point where you're taking advantage of Ethernet economics," he says. "Every place there's an Ethernet port, you want to add TCP acceleration." Koyama also says iReady has a patent on implementing TCP acceleration in hardware (U.S. Patent No. 6,034,963), which he claims gives it another headstart on its rivals.
IReady will announce three iSCSI host bus adapter (HBAs) and an iSCSI controller, each of which it expects to be generally available to prospective OEM customers in the third quarter. Its single-chip ethernetMAX controller will be priced at $75 in volume. Its HBAs will also have volume OEM pricing: $199 for a baseline adapter with an integrated TOE; $299 for an HBA with IPSec; and $399 for an HBA with a fiber interface and IPSec.
However, the company will need another infusion of capital to keep going. According to iReady officials, it will seek to raise an additional $15 million in funding late this summer or in the early fall. The Santa Clara, Calif. company has 60 employees. To date, it has received $72 million from investors that include National Semi, Canaan Partners, Crescendo Ventures, Crown Advisors, Goldman Sachs & Co., and Jafco Ventures (see IReady Is on Its TOEs and IReady Gets $19M, Names COO).