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Siliquent Segues (Sibilantly) to 10-Gig

Another startup has slipped into the race for 10-Gbit/s Ethernet chips: Siliquent Technologies Ltd. has emerged from stealth and is sampling 4- and 10-Gbit/s Ethernet Network Interface Cards (NICs).

Siliquent is making its move a couple of months after Chelsio Communications Inc. began demonstrating its 10-Gbit/s Ethernet chip (see Siliquent Goes 4- and 10-Gig and Startup Leads iSCSI HBA Speed Race). Another startup, S2io Technologies Corp., has a 10-Gbit/s Ethernet card without as much functionality as Siliquent's or Chelsio's (see S2io Calls Out Intel and SGI Goes 10-Gig).

Siliquent CEO Charles Chi says he hopes to have design wins with subsystem or server vendors in the fourth quarter, with products hitting the market early next year.

Architecturally, the Siliquent silicon is similar to Broadcom Corp.'s (Nasdaq: BRCM) NetXtreme II, announced in May (see Broadcom Broadens Storage Play). Like Broadcom, Siliquent combines remote direct memory access (RDMA), iSCSI, and TCP/IP offloading capabilities on one chip.

RDMA is a technique that enables high-performance server clustering, but it has failed to win wide acceptance in storage networking because it requires the use of expensive, specialized interconnects, such as InfiniBand. Making it available over TCP is considered a crucial step toward its wide implementation in data centers.

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