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QLogic sues over video of chip frying egg

Slaps Emulex after storage network breakfast claim

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Storage networking outfit QLogic has sued archrival Emulex for posting a web video that shows an egg frying on a QLogic converged network adapter.

As noticed by The Street, QLogic filed suit on Monday in a California Superior Court, claiming the Emulex video is intentionally deceptive.

"Emulex's video purporting to show an egg frying on a QLogic semiconductor chip is misleading and intended to deceive potential customers of QLogic products," the suit reads.

The suit also alleges that during a recent quarterly earnings call, Emulex made "completely and utterly false statements" intended to harm QLogic's business. Among other things, the suit says, Emulex claimed that QLogic's competing converged network adapter lacked a "certified and hardened Ethernet stack to support demanding server requirements."

In the Emulex video - posted to YouTube and an Emulex blog in late January - a company engineer tells viewers he wants to help them avoid an "actual crash and burn in the data center," before claiming that the QLogic QLE8152 converged network adapter has an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit, "as much as 70 degrees higher" than the Emulex OCe10102.

He then says that higher temperatures "can be directly correlated to lower performance and lower reliability." And "to prove his point," the engineer presents what he calls an unconventional test. "Instead of going into the lab," he says, "we're going into the kitchen."

The video then cuts to a miniature frying pan sitting atop the chip at the heart of the QLogic QLE98152. "This time lapse video shows that [the chip] gets so hot, you can actually fry an egg on it," the engineer says. "Would you want this in your server? No way."

Yes, the video is time-lapsed. And the egg is squeezed onto the miniature frying pan with a syringe.

"In fact, it's not just the [chip] that's at risk," the Emulex engineer continues. "The heat has to go somewhere and it happens to be right into your server. A server failure can have a huge impact on your operations, employee productivity, or customer satisfaction, depending on your applications."

And you've guessed the punchline. "If you want the lowest temperatures, the best performance, and proven reliable products, come to Emulex," he says, "if you want breakfast, go to QLogic."

QLogic's suit insists the video's claims are unfounded. "Emulex has no basis to support its 'datacenter failure' claims, and as a result, its claims are false and misleading and intended to deceive potential customers of QLogic products," the suit reads.

The doesn't say one way or another whether a QLogic converged network adapter can fry an egg - though it does say that "Emulex's focus on a point heat source on a QLogic product and equating that with reliability" is misleading as well.

For your enjoyment, we've embedded the video below. ®

Bootnote

Thanks to Reggie for the tip.

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