PowerDsine co-founder and CEO Igal Rotem believes his startup is about to gain an edge over its mammoth rival, Cisco Systems (Nasdaq:CSCO).

Rotem expects that the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers will soon approve PowerDsine's power-over-local area network technology as an international standard. Its only competitor in this arena is Cisco. That's for now: He expects competition to arise soon from chip manufacturers such as Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN), Linear Technology (Nasdaq:LLTC), and Maxim Integrated Products (Nasdaq:MXIM).

PowerDsine develops software-integrated hardware solutions for delivering operating power over converged voice and data communications and telco networks. Its patented power-over-LAN technology enables the delivery of voice, data and power over standard Ethernet networks. Its technology frees end units from requiring an external power source. Rotem predicts revenue rising to $21.7 million in 2001, 75% more than in 2000.

Speaking at the Robertson Stephens 7th Annual Growth and Technology Conference yesterday, Rotem said that PowerDsine's first-half sales were $9.4 million. He expects sales to grow to $12.3 million in the second half of this year.

Robertson Stephens is reportedly leading a $40 million financing round for PowerDsine. To date, the company has raised $38 million in venture backing.

In its last financing round in February last year, PowerDsine secured $22 million at a post-money company value of $72 million.

Investors include Jerusalem Venture Partners (15%) Clal (14%), Courses Investments in Technology (10%), which comprises Arison Investments among other investors (10%), Ampal American Israel CorporationNasdaq:AMPL), which has a 9% stake, Bank Hapoalim?s Gmulot (7%), which manages the bank?s pension funds, Poalim Capital Markets (6%), Vertex Management Israel, and the Challenge Fund (Etgar).

PowerDsine was established in 1995 by Rotem and President Ilan Atias. Customers include Nortel (NYSE:NT), Alcatel (NYSE:ALA), Ericsson (Nasdaq:ERICY), Siemens (NYSE:SI), 3Com Corporation (Nasdaq:COMS), Avaya Communications (NYSE:AV), Fujitsu. PowerDsine has 150 employees.