Monday, July 18, 2011

Intel to Acquire Fulcrum Microsystems for 10/40 GbE Switches/Fabrics

Intel agreed to acquire Fulcrum Microsystems Inc., a privately held fabless semiconductor company that designs Ethernet switch silicon for data center network providers, for an undisclosed sum. Intel said the deal strengthens its position in data center networking solutions.

Fulcrum Microsystems designs integrated, standards-based 10GbE and 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE) switch silicon. Its FocalPoint 10G and 40G Ethernet switch chip family features low latency, fabric convergence, standards adaptability, and scalability. The device family delivers latency as a 200nS as a layer-2 switch and 300nS as a full router with all features enabled. With the new FM6000 Series, FocalPoint also offers a highly-adaptable packet processing pipeline, called FlexPipe, with a packet rate of 1B pps.

Fulcrum Microsystems was founded in 1999 and is based in Calabasas, California.

"Intel is transforming from a leading server technology company to a comprehensive data center provider that offers computing, storage and networking building blocks," said Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and general manager, Data Center Group. "Fulcrum Microsystems' switch silicon, already recognized for high performance and low latency, complements Intel's leading processors and Ethernet controllers, and will deliver our customers new levels of performance and energy efficiency while improving their economics of cloud service delivery."

Arista Networks is among Fulcrum Microsystems' customers.

  • Fulcrum Microsystems traces its origins to research on asynchronous circuit architecture conducted at Caltech. The technology is used in several key areas within Fulcrum's FocalPoint Ethernet switch product line.

  • Fulcrum is headed by Bob Nunn (CEO), who joined the company 2001. Prior to Fulcrum, Nunn worked in a variety of engineering and management positions for Monolithic Memories, AMD and Vitesse Semiconductor, as well as a director and advisor to numerous start-ups and venture capital funds.

  • Intel's recent acquisitions have included McAfee (Feb 2011), Infineon' Wireless Solutions Business (Aug 2010), and Texas Instruments' Cable Modem unit (Aug 2010).

  • In November 2010, Mellanox Technologies agreed to acquire Voltaire, a supplier of data center fabrics, for approximately $176 million.


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