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Intel To Buy Networking Chip Maker Fulcrum

Intel says the addition of Fuclrum's Ethernet switch chips will strengthen its data center strategy.


Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Headquartered in Calabasas, Calif., the privately-held Fulcrum was founded in 1999 and specializes in designing high-bandwidth Ethernet switch chips for data centers. The company's flagship FocalPoint series for 10-GB Ethernet networks are designed to provide high performance, low latency and fabric convergence.

Intel has recently turned its attention toward enterprise microprocessors for servers, storage and networking devices in the data center. The chip giant believes the addition of Fulcrum's networking chips will help power Intel's plan to dominate the data center.

“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, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group, in a press statement. “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.”

Intel also believes Fulcrum's technology will be complimentary to its Xeon server processor business as cloud computing drives more convergence of server, storage and network technologies. The Fulcrum deal is a departure from Intel's other recent acquisitions, which includes software antivirus maker McAfee and the wireless chip business of Infineon.

The agreement is subject to the approval of Fulcrum Microsystems shareholders as well as regulatory approval. Intel said it expects the acquisition to close in the third quarter this year.

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