ATCA/Standard Servers

StarGen Dims ASI Hopes

StarGen Inc. has laid off most of its staff, falling back on its original StarFabric technology after a foray into the new Advanced Switching Interconnect (ASI) standard apparently didn't work out.

The company has laid off its ASI staff, according to a memo that CEO Tim Miller forwarded to interested parties including the press. But ASI had become the bulk of StarGen's business; one source says the layoffs amount to 85 percent of the company.

StarGen officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The company will continue to support StarFabric, a backplane switching protocol that it designed for multiprocessor systems. StarFabric is the reason StarGen was founded in 1999, and Miller, in his memo, notes StarGen has shipped more than 300,000 ports of StarFabric.

But StarFabric never caught on in a big way. StarGen altered course to try its hand at ASI, an interface based on PCI Express, and produced devices in 2005. The company wasn't abandoning StarFabric at that point, but it seemed clear that ASI was going to be StarGen's future. (See StarGen Wishes on ASI.)

Having apparently backed a good horse -- ASI was gettting support from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) -- StarGen raised $15.5 million to support its new direction.

In addition to continuing StarFabric support with whatever staff remains, StarGen plans to continue pursuing technologies related to the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) and PCI Express interfaces. Miller's memo promises "product and service announcements" to come.

ASI is one of several switching options for Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (AdvancedTCA) equipment, alongside such technologies as InfiniBand, RapidIO, and even StarFabric. Ethernet, though, could trump them all in the long term. (See Bandwidth Hunger Drives Chip Designs.)

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

interconnect Guy 12/5/2012 | 3:43:36 AM
re: StarGen Dims ASI Hopes No big news here, as ASI has seen a pull out of vendors for more then a year.
A single Silicon Supplier does not make a Eco-system, and OEM's need an Eco-system with multiple suppliers of Silicon, Software, boards and Test. After all why have Open Standards if they are not open and do not leverage common Eco-system.
RapidIO has a strong such Eco-system, with 4 switch vendors, native processors and FPGA's....
All the best to the Stargen Engineers, a great team, just got on the wrong horse.
Interconnect Guy
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:43:30 AM
re: StarGen Dims ASI Hopes Yes, this isn't much of a surprise.

Anybody else got thoughts on ASI? Is it basically going to get clobbered by Ethernet?
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