Intel Invests In NetBSD Developer Wasabi


Companies to collaborate on storage, networking solutions


Intel has acquired an equity stake in Wasabi Systems, a developer and provider of the NetBSD operating system for embedded applications, as part of a partnership to develop storage and networking solutions based on the chip giant's XScale technology.

A spokesperson for Intel Capital, Intel's investment arm, declined to specify how much Intel invested in New York-based Wasabi but said typical investments are $1 million to $10 million for a stake of no more than 20 percent in the company that received the funding. The Intel Capital spokesperson said the investment, announced Monday, is aimed at building an "ecosystem" around Intel's XScale-based I/O processors, which can be applied to storage networking solutions. Plans call for the development of middleware to help drive sales of the processors, the spokesperson said.

The Intel-Wasabi alliance will include optimizing NetBSD for iSCSI, joint development of iSCSI products based on Intel storage building blocks and the creation of NetBSD board-support packages for future Intel customer-reference platforms, according to Wasabi.

"This collaboration is a natural fit for both companies. We are focusing on the storage and infrastructure markets, where Intel's XScale technology-based processors are emerging in upcoming solutions," Wasabi Chairman and CEO Robert Raucci said in a statement.

The XScale processors are embedded in servers from vendors such as Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard, as well as in storage components from vendors such as Adaptec, LSI Logic and Emulex, said Chris Croteau, marketing director for Intel's Storage Components Division. The Wasabi equity stake is Intel's second strategic investment in storage developers this year, Croteau said. Earlier this year, the company made a strategic investment in StoneFly Networks, a San Diego-based developer of IP storage appliances.

"NetBSD's capabilities make it a strong fit for applications such as iSCSI targets, RAID controllers and routers," Mike Wall, general manager of Intel's Storage Components unit, said in a statement. "Working with Wasabi should result in excellent combined hardware and software solutions for our customers."