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Cisco To Scoop Up Low-Latency Networking Specialist Exablaze

Cisco says it will acquire Australian networking specialist Exablaze and add its technology to its Cisco Nexus data center switching portfolio.

Cisco Systems plans to acquire Exablaze to reduce latency and improve network performance for enterprise customers in which milliseconds matter, the company said Monday.

Exablaze is a privately held, Australian-based designer and manufacturer of advanced network gear based on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) aimed at reducing latency and improving network performance. The company, which got its start in 2013, has focused its technology on financial services customers and high-frequency trading.

For these customers, "every sliver of time matters," said Cisco Vice President for Corporate Business Development Rob Salvagno in a blog post on the news.

[Related: Cisco’s Reorganization Plan: 5 Big Things You Need To Know]

"Integrating Exablaze’s innovative products and technology into the Cisco portfolio will give our customers the latest field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology, providing them with the flexibility and programmability they require," Salvagno said.

The two companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Specifically, Exablaze's technology will be integrated into Cisco’s Nexus data center switching portfolio and will complement Cisco’s current switching technology, the companies said.

In addition to high-frequency trading use cases, Exablaze's technology can be applied to artificial intelligence and machine-learning applications, as well as high-performance computing, data center, cloud and edge computing, Cisco said.

As 2019 comes to a close, Cisco has been making big changes to better compete in the evolving networking space. The San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant last week said it was entering the silicon market and revealed a major shift in its networking strategy with the introduction of a new networking silicon architecture called Cisco Silicon One. The move is laying the foundation for Cisco's long-term goal, which is to support future applications and services that will emerge onto the scene once 5G has been widely adopted, according to Cisco.

Cisco in November laid out plans to revamp several of its business units in a move that the company hopes will help it better address how customers are buying its networking and cloud products. To that end, Cisco's enterprise networking and data center networking units have been combined. Cisco also renamed its existing cloud computing business to Cloud Strategy and Compute and expanded the segment to include server products. The restructure also moved Cisco's network orchestration products, which were part of the Cloud Platforms and Solutions group, to the company's Service Provider Business.

Upon close of the deal, the Exablaze team will join Cisco, according to the two companies.

Cisco said it expects the deal to close during its third fiscal quarter of 2020.

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