10GBase-T data center chip developer raises $35M, led by Russian investors

Aquantia has completed a Series F financing of $35 million, with new investor Rusnano leading the round.

Aquantia, a developer of 10-Gigabit Ethernet ICs for cloud computing and large-scale data centers, announced that it has completed a Series F financing round of $35 million, with new investor Rusnano contributing the bulk of funding, joined by current investors.

Rusnano was founded in March 2011 as an open joint stock company through the re-organization of a state corporation, Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. The company's stated mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in Rusnano; Anatoly Chubais is CEO and chairman of the company's executive board.

Rusnano will invest $25 million and current and new investors will contribute $10 million to the financing round. As a result of the financing, Aquantia will establish a new design center in Russia. The company says its Russian R&D center will support its Silicon Valley headquarters' R&D group in chip design and software development, as well as product testing.

Related story:Siemon, Aquantia demo 120-meter 10GBase-T

“Aquantia is the only 10 Gigabit Ethernet silicon provider to meet our investment criteria in the high-speed data center interconnect space,” comments Rusnano managing director Sergey Polikarpov. “We believe big data and global data center traffic are going to see a tremendous swell in the next several years, and Aquantia’s technology is essential to improving server performance while realizing greater cost efficiencies. This is a premium opportunity for us to participate in the market growth and its rewards.”

Aquantia successfully launched its 40nm 10GBase-T PHY chipset in 2011, as a critical component for emerging LAN-on-Motherboard (LOM) platforms for new data center servers and switches. With Intel’s March 2012 launch of its Romley generation LOM server platforms, the 10GBase-T interconnect market is now seeing an explosive uptick, notes the company.

“This past year has been tremendously gratifying, as it has been the culmination of hard work, innovation and powerful partnering in the 10GE and LOM space,” comments Aquantia’s president and CEO Faraj Aalaei. “We are truly ecstatic about the takeoff of Intel’s Romley platform and what it means as a watershed event for the near-term ubiquity of 10GBase-T in the data center as well as future opportunity across the enterprise space. This is what we have been working toward, and our funding partners in this and all previous rounds have positioned us for tremendous delivery success.”

As cited by Aquantia, according to Crehan Research, shipments of 10GBase-T in data center switching and servers will see more than a seven-fold increase from 2011 to 2012, reaching a total of approximately 6.5 million ports in 2013, and almost 20 million the following year.

See also:Expert panel investigates 10GBase-T data center advancements

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