Cavium has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Xpliant for US $90 million (€67 million). The Silicon Valley-based fabless semiconductor start-up provides dense switching devices for the data centre, cloud computing, service provider and enterprise markets. Cavium has already invested $15 million in the start-up; the remaining $75 million will comprise $40 million (€30m) in cash and $35 million (€26m) in stock.
Current switch silicon use a fixed-function, hardwired architecture that lack the flexibility needed for emerging requirements such as software-defined networking (SDN), says Cavium. Another disadvantage of fixed-function architectures is that system vendors cannot differentiate their products for data centre, cloud, telecom and the enterprise applications.
Xpliant’s products are designed to meet the throughput and programming needs of next-generation networking infrastructure. Its family of switching silicon devices support 10, 40 and 100 gigabit ports with switching capacities from multi-hundred gigabit to multi-terabit. “Xpliant has developed a disruptive family of switching silicon solutions for next-generation software-defined networks,” said Syed Ali, president and CEO of Cavium.
The total addressable market for Ethernet switch silicon exceeds $1 billion a year. Moreover, the pace of adoption of switch platforms will increase with the emergence of SDN, says Cavium.
Known for its multi-core general-purpose processors used for telecom and datacom networking applications, Cavium achieved revenues of $304 million (€227m) in 2013.
By Roy Rubenstein