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Tech Roundup: Cisco Funds Employee Start-up for $100 Million, SanDisk Stocks Continue to Plunge, and More

A look at how Milpitas companies made the news over the past week.

Cisco has announced that it is funding yet another employee-created start-up, this time with $100 million. The start-up, called Insieme, is an advanced networking company. Insieme is expected to boost Cisco’s portfolio in the rapidly advancing business of software-defined networking, or S.D.N., which is expected to be a cheap and efficient way to deploy large cloud computing systems. In a statement made this week, Cisco said, “Insieme’s product development efforts are complementary to that of Cisco’s current and planned internal investments…These types of investments have strongly benefitted Cisco in the past, and we will continue to look for similar ways to complement our internal development capabilities.” As part of the funding agreement, Cisco retains the option to later purchase Insieme for an additional $750 million, bringing the total investment to $850 million. The three Cisco engineers who started Insieme have previously created two other start-ups, which Cisco also invested in and purchased.

Earlier this week, in a statement, Milpitas-based KLA-Tencor was honored by chip-making giant Intel Corp. with the company’s Preferred Quality Supplier award for their performance in 2011. “KLA-Tencor Corporation is recognized for their significant contributions providing Intel with inspection and metrology capital equipment and services, deemed essential to Intel's success,” the statement read. KLA-Tencor supplies Intel with inspection and metrology technologies. A celebration for recipients of the Intel honor was held in Santa Clara recently.

The bad news continued this week for Milpitas-based flash memory card maker SanDisk. Quarterly profits were lower than expected, and the company predicts the next quarter will be weak as well. SanDisk cites “weak prices and increased expenses amid lower demand for its products” as the source of the company’s recent struggle. The sour news definitely took its toll on the company’s stock, which plunged a whopping 14 percent during after-hours trading once the word spread amongst investors.

Milpitas-based Virident Inc., along with a few other companies like AIC Inc., Mellanox and Quantum, is looking to transform the viewing experience for movie-lovers worldwide with the release of its new high-throughput digital content solutions for film finishing, which it is delivering to Hollywood movie studios this week. “Film finishing applications often require huge amounts of I/O, which the combination of AIC's Max I/O and Virident's FlashMAX SCM technologies provide,” company representatives said in a press release Thursday. “This combination enables next-generation cinema experiences such as 4K digital film resolutions to be delivered.” The companies partnered up to demonstrate this new technology at the NAB 2012 show earlier this week.

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