Intel has invested in Banderacom, a US startup developing Infiniband chips which promise improved bandwidth and greater reliability for servers.
The undisclosed stake by Intel Capital, the chip giant's investment arm, completes $9m of first round funding for Banderacom.
Infiniband has been jointly developed by companies including Intel, Dell, Compaq, IBM and Hewlett Packard and allows users to move large volumes of data between network objects faster and more efficiently.
The architecture, targeted at high performance servers, supports multi-user interfaces and minimises strain on the CPU with transparent sharing of system resources. It accelerates data transfer by clearing the network connections between storage devices.
Servers currently require a range of different interconnect technologies including gigabit gthernet, FibreChannel, SCSI and proprietary clustering interconnects connected via a shared bus. Infiniband creates a unified technology for storage, networking and clustering leading to easier connectivity, improved bandwidth and greater reliability.
Tom Macdonald, director and general manager at Intel's Fabric Components Division, said: "Intel is committed to delivering a broad range of interoperable silicon building blocks for Infiniband architecture. In addition, Intel is working with the industry to ensure that a broad range of Infiniband technology products are available and aligned with Intel architecture platforms."
"Banderacom's focus on target channel adapters [the devices that connect storage, local area network and peripheral devices to Infiniband servers] will help give internet hardware vendors a range of options from which to choose when building timely solutions based on Infiniband architecture," he added.
Gordon Haff, research director at Aberdeen Group, said: "Intel appears to be putting the necessary elements in place to drive the widespread acceptance of Infiniband. Their funding of Banderacom to develop early Infiniband silicon is another step towards achieving the critical mass necessary for the success of this initiative going forward."
Later today, Intel is expected to detail further plans for the Infiniband specifications at its developers' forum in San Jose, California.
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