Posts Tagged infiniband
Intel is well known for its consumer PC chips and for its business solutions, which defined the Wintel era. Intel also has a strong networking portfolio. Long a dominant player in the adapter/LOM space, Intel has been aggressively expanding its position to adjacent technologies. Last year, Intel acquired merchant silicon vendor Fulcrum Microsystems and today announced that it is acquiring QLogic’s InfiniBand business. The acquisition is for $125M in cash; QLogic originally acquired the InfiniBand technology as a $60M purchase of SilverStorm in 2006 [Update: and $109M on PathScale also in 2006]. Mellanox is the market leader in InfiniBand, and it added Ethernet to its portfolio last year.
Today, Mellanox announced plans to buy Voltaire for $218M. This is not a surprising move – Voltaire was a customer of Mellanox InfiniBand silicon yet the two companies often were competing head-to-head in the switch market which was driving down the price of both of their businesses. I heard that OEM customers had been pushing for this marriage of companies for some time so that they can join forces on the low latency marketplace. Voltaire has a Low-Latency Ethernet product which does not use Mellanox silicon, but I would expect that it will convert to the in-house solution in the future. While the InfiniBand market has had good growth, consolidation of the supply chain makes sense, vertically integrating to suppliers that provide chips, adapters and switches. QLogic went from a customer of Mellanox to a competitor with the acquisition of SilverStorm in 2006. Mellanox is the lead supplier of InfiniBand chip technology and now with Voltaire being acquired by Mellanox, we have a horse race with QLogic as the other end-to-end InfiniBand solution provider from chips and switches.