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StarGen Momentum Builds with Advanced PCI Express Wins; Eight Top Tier Design Wins in First 6 Months of Sampling AXSys Product Line.

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- StarGen, the leader in Advanced PCI Express Interconnect solutions, today announced that in the first six months of sampling its initial products in the AXSys PCI Express/Advanced Switching product line it has secured eight design wins from top tier OEMs in the storage, compute and embedded application markets. In addition to the design wins, StarGen is currently sampling to a significant number of leading OEMs who are also validating the technology and expect to make interconnect decisions shortly. This momentum clearly validates the market demand for 'advanced' PCI Express interconnect capabilities to enable multiple processor communication, disaggregation and virtualization of PCIe I/O resources, and high availability/fault tolerance. These features are all enabled by the Advanced Switching Interconnect (ASI) specification and supported by StarGen's AXSys product line.

Estimates of the PCI Express 'Base' and 'Advanced' interconnect market size show it growing rapidly from today's $50M to over $500M in the next 5 years. StarGen will address this entire PCI Express market, building on these initial successes in the advanced switch segment.

Arun Taneja, Founder and Consulting Analyst at Taneja Group, a leading analyst/consulting house in the storage and server arena adds; "There is no question in my mind that PCI Express has won the battle for standard high-speed interconnect at the board level. StarGen not only delivers PCI Express technology to systems designers but also pioneers advanced PCI Express functionality as described in the Advanced Switching Interconnect (ASI) specification. If you are systems designer in the storage or server space, your evaluation is incomplete without checking out StarGen's product line."

Design Wins

The customers designing StarGen's AXSys technology into their products will be announced as their products come to market. However, it can be revealed that there are several common elements to the customer designs that clearly demonstrate the need for advanced extensions to the current PCIe 'Base' solutions currently in the market. They include:

--need to connect more than one processor complex in a system

--need to virtualize and scale PCIe I/O resources in the most cost effective manner

--need to deliver high availability functions typically associated with proprietary interconnects

--need for high data throughput with low CPU utilization through DMA assist

StarGen's AXSys product suite supports these requirements by taking advantage of the ASI industry standard that defines a seamless method for interconnecting PCIe processors and peripherals while providing 'advanced' PCIe services.

Storage Market Traction

Next generation storage arrays and filers are going to be built with standards-based modular components. The storage market is also widely adopting processor and I/O components that are moving to the PCI Express interface standard creating strong demand for 'advanced' interconnects supporting PCIe.

OEMs that have selected StarGen are looking for an interconnect that matches their need for a low latency 'memory mapped' data movement model and also need to be assured that they can protect their multi-year PCI software investment. High availability features for creating fault tolerant paths and data protection schemes are also required to match the capabilities that in the past were performed with costly ASICs.

Server Market Traction

The server market also has embraced the need for 'advanced' PCIe interconnect solutions. High-end and mid-range server OEM's who have selected StarGen require mainframe-like feature sets for multi-processor scaling and high availability at a price point that allows them to compete with the continually advancing volume server market.

The modular volume server markets, including blade and rack mount form-factors, have also embraced the capabilities found in StarGen's product portfolio. The need to virtualize I/O by logically and physically separating processors from peripherals is a critical need for cost effective scalability in the enterprise.

Customer Case Studies

One OEM who has selected StarGen AXSys products will be introducing an innovative platform for I/O disaggregation targeting the 1RU server market. This system allows any PCIe endpoint (i.e. Fiber Channel HBA, Ethernet NIC) to be physically separate from the actual processor that is virtually controlling I/O resource pools through a management software layer. This approach enables datacenter managers to implement cost effective redundancy of both SAN and LAN resources without the capital and operating expense typically associated with implementing highly available networks. This architecture, since it is based on PCIe, will require no changes to any endpoints, can use any server with an available PCIe expansion slot, and requires no changes to device drivers. The product will be sampling in the second half of 2006.

A leading storage company will also be utilizing StarGen's AXSys products for a line of systems that are targeting the small to medium business market internationally. They will be designing modular processor elements that will be common from their low-end to high-end and utilize StarGen silicon as the system interconnect when scalability is required. This approach enables common software across their entire product line and eliminates the need for custom ASICs.

StarGen also has key design wins in embedded applications that utilize the emerging AdvancedTCA (aTCA) form-factor targeting IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) applications. The military market is also undergoing massive transformation in its next generation approach to creating modular server architectures for its communication infrastructure. Several designs are underway for those programs using StarGen technology.

"We are very pleased with the customer response to our initial 'advanced' PCI Express product offering based on the ASI standard, and we believe that our AXSys products will offer optimized solutions to all users of PCI Express," concluded Tim Miller, CEO of StarGen. "This is a technology that will be with us for at least the next decade and we intend to leverage these early successes to extend and broaden our appeal in the coming months and years."

To learn more about StarGen and see the AXSys Architecture in action, StarGen will also be participating in several industry leading events in the next 60 days including

--GlobalComm, Chicago IL June 5-7

--PCI-SIG Developers Conference, San Jose CA June 8-9

--ASI SIG Tech Update for PCI SIG Developers, San Jose CA June 9

--Linley Group High Speed Interconnect Seminar, Santa Clara CA June 14

--ASI-SIG Seminar, Santa Clara CA June 15

About AXSys

AXSys is StarGen's family of PCI Express compliant devices that support both PCIe 'base" and the Advanced Switching Interconnect (ASI) standard. PCIe/ASI switches, PCIe-to-ASI bridges, fabric management software, and evaluation systems that comprise the AXSys product suite have all been sampling to customers since November 2005.

About StarGen

StarGen, based in Marlborough, MA, is a fabless semiconductor company that develops interconnects that are compliant to the PCI Express and ASI standards. The company's mission is to provide advanced solutions for connecting PCIe based processors and peripherals that are widely used in a large range of systems developed by leading storage, server and embedded OEM's. StarGen's successful 1st generation product, StarFabric, extends legacy PCI applications and is currently in use in over 75 designs with greater than 250,000 ports shipped around the world. Additional company and product information is available at www.stargen.com.

Note to editors: PCI Express is a trademark of PCI-SIG. Advanced Switching and ASI are trademarks of the ASI-SIG. StarGen, StarFabric and AXSys are trademarks of StarGen. All other trademarks and products are the property of their respective owners.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 22, 2006
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