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Strix Signs Ralph Ungermann

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LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
7/28/2003

Ralph Ungermann -- the man credited by some with creating smart LAN hubs -- has joined the board of enterprise wireless LAN startup Strix Systems Inc.

Strix's CFO Gordon Almquist says that having Ungermann on board should help the firm forge OEM deals and other partnerships, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region. "He can open doors for us," says Almquist.

Ungermann's experience with starting new ventures will be useful at Strix, particularly when it's time to start looking for some more VC funding. "It gives us additional credibility -- investors know him and they know the name," says Almquist. Indeed, they should.

Ungermann worked for Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) until 1974 when he left to co-found Zilog Inc. The firm developed the Z80 microprocessor, arguably the most successful processor in the world, which is still in use in embedded chips today.

Ungermann then went on to found pioneering networking company Ungermann Bass Networks, where he helped to develop groundbreaking equipment such as the smart hub -- the first device that let multiple computers share a single network. Then Ungerman went on to found Web conferencing company First Virtual Communications Inc.

Westlake, Calif.-based Strix is hoping to make a little history of its own with its 802.11 access points, which are the first enterprise-oriented boxes to communicate wirelessly with both the end user and the corporate network (see Strix's Radio Trix for more on the technology). The firm started shipping its self-configuring hardware and software last week (see Strix Ships Box of Radio Trix). — Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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