chelsioThe transition to high-speed 10-gigabit per second networking adapters has spawned a lot of broadband communications companies. One of them, Chelsio, has raised $17 million to expand its business of making 10 gigabit Ethernet network adapters, chips and storage solutions.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Chelsio designs a family of custom chips dubbed the Terminator (T3) ASIC. It uses those chips in network adapter cards for enterprise computers and storage devices. The storage devices include high-speed network-attached storage devices, computing clusters, server adapters, storage area network, video servers and other devices aimed at making supercomputers and high-end servers faster. These sorts of devices are the reason that corporate web sites can feed web pages to users in a responsive manner. It also allows employees in corporations to quickly access huge databases of information stored on corporate networks.

The funding comes from existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Invesco Private Capital, Investor Growth Capital, LSI, NTT Finance, Vendanta Capital, Abacus Capital Group, Pacesetter Capital Group, Horizon Ventures, and one new participant, Mobile Internet Capital.

Chelsio chief executive Kianoosh Naghshineh, who was an architect of one of Silicon Graphics’ most successful supercomputers, said the new funding will be used for continued development of Chelsio’s 10GbE adapter products and expansion into new markets. The company has more than 150 customers developing products based on its technology, including EMC, HP, IBM and NEC. Revenues have been increasing 25 percent each quarter for the past few quarters. Naghshineh said he expects this new round of financing to take the company to profitability.

Other companies in the 10-gigabit Ethernet chip or hardware markets include Intel and Broadcom. The company was founded in 2001 and has 130 employees. It has raised $111 million to date.

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