Intel really is Insyde

What's in a name? Intel buys into brand booster (oh, and it makes BIOS software too)

Intel has invested into Insyde Software, a startup BIOS vendor.

Based in Taipei, Taiwan, Insyde completed its second round of financing with contributions from Intel Pacific and China Development Industrial Bank - the largest venture capital firm in Taiwan. Insyde develops BIOS software for notebooks and handhelds.

Jonathan Joseph, Insyde Software's president and CEO, said the company would use the investment to fund research and development into notebook BIOS software and to take on more staff.

"There are a lot of things coming down the line from Intel that need support," Joseph said.

These include new mobile chip sets, as well as an update to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface power management software in Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system.

"Those things all require a new BIOS to make them work," Joseph said.

Insyde was founded in September 1998 after a group of executives at SystemSoft purchased the company's BIOS business. Those executives, including Joseph, are the majority owners of the company.

Insyde is one of only a handful of companies that develop BIOS software. The two largest BIOS makers, Phoenix LTD and Award Software, merged last year. Some PC makers, including Compaq and Toshiba develop their own BIOS software.

Insyde also develops power management and keyboard control software.

Insyde will seek a third round of financing and will eventually launch an initial public offering, Joseph said.