Abrizio was a fabless semiconductor company which made switching fabric chip sets (integrated circuits for computer network switches). Their chip set, the TT1, was used by several large system development companies as the core switch fabric in their high value communication systems.
It was founded in 1997, by Professor Nick McKeown as a spinout of the Tiny-tera project at Stanford University and received US$6M of funding from Benchmark Capital and Sequoia Capital. In 1998, Anders Swahn, who had been executive vice president of sales and marketing at Allied-Telesyn Inc., joined Abrizio as chief executive.
Product and technology
The product name TT1 referred to "Tiny Tera" meaning a small, highly integrated semiconductor implementation of a terabit/s capacity switching fabric. Abrizio's corporate colors were purple and yellow.
Abrizio's key technology was a sophisticated implementation of a Wavefront arbiter which allowed the switch to make complex arbitration decisions very quickly.
The CEO of Abrizio was Anders Swahn. The CTO was McKeown who was taking a leave from his professorship at Stanford. Zubair Hussein was the V.P. of Engineering.
Abrizio was acquired on August 24, 1999, by PMC-Sierra for 4,352,000 shares of PMC-Sierra stock, worth at that time $400M. After the acquisition, the former Abrizio development team completed the TTx switch chip set. In the wake of the bursting of the telecom bubble, PMC-Sierra laid off most of the former Abrizio team in 2001.
- Sequoia Capital small article
- EE Times PMC-Sierra offers $400M for packet-switching startup
- Electronic Times August 30, 1999 PMC-Sierra to Buy Abrizio - Company Business and Marketing - Brief Article
- Light Reading Jan 17, 2003 More Cuts at PMC-Sierra