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Networking start-up adds exec

S2io, a company that develops chips for boosting computer networking speeds, adds a new marketing chief.

S2io, a start-up that works on chips in order to boost Ethernet networking speeds, has snapped up an executive whom Broadcom in March ousted.

Kimball Brown, formerly vice president of business development at Broadcom ServerWorks, is now vice president of marketing for Cupertino, Calif.-based S2io, the company plans to announce Tuesday. Brown lost his job at Broadcom when the communication chipmaker ejected ServerWorks chief Raju Vegesna.

Brown is one of a handful of company employees who are not directly developing the products. "There are 45 people, and there are four of us that aren't acting engineers," Brown said in an interview.

S2io has built prototypes of its first chip, with plans to sell it to computer makers in the third quarter. Computer makers are expected to begin selling the chip as a part of their products before the end of the year, Brown said. Higher-volume shipments will come in 2004, he added.

"The first step is port aggregation," in which a single 10-gigabit-per-second link in a server can substitute for several 1gbps links, Brown said. Later, S2io will build products to accelerate storage networks using Ethernet networks instead of the prevailing standard today, Fibre Channel.

Although the company has yet to announce which computer makers will buy S2io's chips, Hewlett-Packard voiced support for the company's networking plan in a June announcement.

Much of S2io's staff came from Nortel Networks' Alteon division, Brown said, where they worked to establish today's 1gbps Ethernet technology and dealt with 10gbps OC192 networking technology.

S2io, founded in 2001, is led by Chief Executive Dave Zabrowski, who formerly headed HP's North American PC operation. He joined the start-up in August 2002. On Tuesday, S2io also plans to announce that Terri Scheufele has been named director of operations. She held the same post in HP's PC organization.