Wednesday, December 1, 2004

ECI Telecom Invests in Chiaro Networks

ECI Telecom is providing $6 million in financing to Chiaro Networks, a developer of carrier infrastructure-class IP/MPLS routing platforms. ECI will also become the exclusive distributor of Chiaro's Enstara IP/MPLS platform worldwide. ECI also gains an option to acquire the company at a later time.

Chiaro's Enstara IP/MPLS platform is designed to help carriers consolidate multiple existing networks into a single, simpler network. http://www.chiaro.com

  • In March 2004, Chiaro announced that the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) selected its "Enstara" router for its DataTAG project, a large-scale intercontinental Grid test bed. CERN is testing the Enstara platform for its ability to provide consistent and sustained ultra reliability for high-performance data replication and guaranteed real-time traffic delivery over long-distance, high-bandwidth connections. Chiaro said its STateful Assured Routing (STAR) technology enables five nines availability with seamless, transparent protection of hardware and software during switchover following failures and maintenance activities, including "hitless" upgrades. Its router features a modular distributed software architecture that provides automatic fault detection and recovery, intelligent fault monitoring and network stability, with software modules added or upgraded as needed.

  • In May 2003, Chiaro Networks introduced its network core, multi-chassis, IP routing platform. Chiaro's design leverages a gallium arsenide (GaAs) optical switch fabric for scalability from 10 slots to a multi-chassis with 315 slots. The company claims that the scalability and flexibility provided by its optical backplane, along with network-processor based line-cards, will lead to a 7 to 10 year lifecycle for the platform. Key features of the Chiaro platform include an Optical Phased Array (OPA) switch fabric coupled with a Global Scheduler providing a single-hop optical crossbar architecture.

  • Chiaro has secured $210 million to date from backers such as Intel Capital, Siemens Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds, and STAR Ventures.

  • Chiaro Networks is based in Richardson, Texas. The company is headed by Ken Lewis, who previously served as Alcatel's senior vice-president of strategic planning and senior vice-president of the Transmission Products division. Chiaro was founded by Dr. Eyal Shekel, who formerly served as a project manager in the Space and Imaging division of EL-OP Electro-optical Industries in Israel.

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