Intel Corp’s (NASDAQ:INTC) Omni-Path Architecture performance fabric has received a lifeline as an autonomous entity following its spin-out from the company and raised around $20 million through venture capital.
The independent company from the Omni-Path spin-out raises $20 million
The new company emerged as Cornelis Networks Inc., which is a purpose-built interconnects provider focusing on high-performance data analytics (HPDA), AI, and high-performance computing (HPC). The company announces a Series A funding round led by Downing LLP’s Downing Ventures, Intel’s venture arm Intel Capital and Chestnut Street Ventures.
The Omni-Path Architecture Business was Intel’s initiative that commenced 8 years ago led by the chipmaker’s top talent and it was meant to focus on the Scalable Systems Framework. However, after four years, the company announced in the summer of last year that it will discontinue its support for OPA, which was surprising considering Intel is renowned for heavy investment and tech promotion. But this wasn’t shocking since the division was struggling to gain market traction. OPA launched in late 2015, but its reception coincided with a turbulent period for the interface and networking arena.
Cornelis led by ex-OPA staff
Fx-Intel employees Philip A. Murphy, Gunnar K. Gunnarson, and Vladimir K Tamarkin founded Cornelis. They had worked previously on OPA under Intel, and the spun-out company has 50 staff, with 40 of them hired from the chipmaker. The spin-out involved transfer of IP, support agreements, product inventory, and distribution agreements with Intel Capital in exchange, receiving interest in Cornelis.
Intel suspended development of the second generation 200-Gbps version of OPA but promised to continue selling and supporting first-generation products. This gave partners an incentive to continue supporting the tech, but the halting of 200-Gbps was a boon for Mellanox, which had started shipping the 200-Gbps version of the InfiniBand Interconnect. Murphy, one of Omni-Path and Cornelis CEO architects, said that discussion about the spin-out of Omni-Path as an independent company began 18 months ago after the chipmaker indicated that it was halting the development of second-generation products.