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InfiniBand backer files for IPO

Voltaire, maker of InfiniBand networking equipment, plans to raise about $67.5 million through an initial public offering.

InfiniBand is going public.

Voltaire, which sells networking equipment and software for the high-speed communication technology, filed plans Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission to hold an initial public offering of its stock. The company, based in Herzeliya, Israel, and Billerica, Mass., said it hopes to raise $67.5 million.

Several major companies, including Intel and IBM, once envisioned InfiniBand as a general-purpose server communication technology, but instead it has found its main niche linking numerous servers together into high-performance technical computing clusters. But InfiniBand has stayed a step ahead of other technologies, such as the ubiquitous Ethernet and the storage-specific Fibre Channel, and backers still hope to see it used for general business computing.

InfiniBand hasn't been a recipe for stand-alone success among start-ups. QLogic acquired one InfiniBand specialist, PathScale, and Cisco Systems acquired another, TopSpin Communications. Voltaire itself has diversified; its InfiniBand switches also have high-speed 10-gigabit-per-second Ethernet abilities.

Voltaire had revenue of $30.4 million in 2006 and $8.6 million in the first quarter of 2007, the company said in the filing. For those periods, it reported a net loss to shareholders of $13 million and $4.2 million, respectively.

The company plans to sell 5.77 million shares at a price between $12 and $14 per share. In addition, other Voltaire shareholders are selling 1.92 million shares in the offering. As many as 865,462 shares from Voltaire and 288,488 shares from the other shareholders also can be sold to cover overallotments, the company said.

The target of $67.5 million raised via the stock offering comes from a value of $13 per share and accounts for expenses and discounts to the IPO underwriters, the company said.

The company plans to trade under the ticker "VOLT" on the Nasdaq market.