Virident Validates New Strategy for Start-Ups

There’s a hot formula for hardware start-ups these days: Take standard components that are declining steadily in price, and offer proprietary chips and software that make them work much better.

That’s the path being pursued by Virident Systems, a Silicon Valley company that plans to offer its own server systems as well as sell technology to much larger server makers.

The company’s chief executive is Raj Parekh, who held executive titles at Sun Microsystems (JAVA) in the 1990s and also was a co-founder of Silicon Graphics (SGIC). He traces Virident’s existence to the fact that the design of most servers stacking up in computer rooms evolved years before the Internet. They often have massive number-crunching power, Parekh says, but aren’t particularly good at the main thing they are purchased to do–-answer Web queries.

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