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Comms chips

Strix Tucks $15M in Trousers

"Smart" wireless LAN access point startup Strix Systems Inc. today announced that it has gathered another $15 million in financing that it plans to spend on expanding its sales and marketing team.

The company is claiming that this additional money, which brings the total investment in the firm to $34 million, will see it through to profitability. [Ed. note: It's almost a contractual obligation for 802.11 startups to say that these days.] The financing round was led by CMEA Ventures and Windward Ventures, with contributions from UV Partners and existing investors El Dorado Ventures and Palomar Ventures

Bob Jordan, Strix's VP of marketing, says that exactly when the company hits profitability depends on "the current trajectory of the market" [wheeeeeeeeee!], but that the company is looking at a "late 2004 to early 2005 time-frame."

Strix sells its kit exclusively through the channel, so Jordan says that further partnership deals will be an important component going forward (see Strix Turns on Channel). Jordan says the company will announce another major channel deal soon.

Strix plans to release updates to its snap-together, automatic networking access point architecture about once a quarter (see Strix's Radio Trix for more on how this all works). Jordan says that atop the list are an update that will help users find the location of "rogue" (unauthorized) access points on the 802.11 network and an upgrade to the firm's management software.

Strix's technology roadmap is set out for about the next 18 months, Jordan says. One of the issues the company is looking at is the developments that will be required as 802.11 networks start to carry more voice, video, and data traffic.

"Rather than plugging in multiple access points [to increase capacity], I think you'll see the industry move towards multiple antennas and multiple radios [in one box], just like the cell-phone industry did [with base stations]," Jordan opines. Of course, Strix's system can already handle multiple radios in close proximity with interference, but the reference to "multiple antennas" suggests that the company may also be examining range and capacity issues.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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