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article imageIntel acquires Barefoot Networks to accelerate Ethernet delivery

By Tim Sandle     Jun 11, 2019 in Business
Technology giant Intel is to acquire Barefoot Networks. The aim of the purchase is to aid the acceleration of Ethernet-based fabrics, which is essential for developing cloud computing.
Intel are pushing ahead with solutions designed to capture and analyze data. Acknowledging that its customers are seeking more efficient ways to move, store and process data with the speed also a key requirement, Intel has been investing in technologies that can meet these demands. This includes the Xenon Scalable processor, which can operate at the intelligent edge or with the cloud, and across artificial intelligence and 5G services.
To ensure that the deliverables of speed and efficiency are met, are having in place effective data center interconnects (interconnect is one of Intel's stated six technology pillars, which form part of the company's mission statement). Given the diversity of different operating systems used in businesses, Intel requires a range of different interconnect products to meet this heterogeneous computing landscape at scale.
This explains why Intel has signed an agreement to acquire Barefoot Networks, who develop Ethernet switch silicon and software solutions for use in data centers. Barefoot Networks specializes in programmability to support the hyperscale cloud (a reference to the facilities and provisioning required in distributed computing environments to efficiently scale from a few servers to thousands of servers).
Barefoot Networks is a computer networking company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, founded in 2013. Among the company's products is the P4-programmable switch chip, which can run up to speeds of 6.5 Tbit/s (P4 is a programming language designed to allow programming of packet forwarding dataplanes; with the purchase TechCrunch notes how Intel now adds a core knowledge set around P4-programmable high speed data paths).
As part of the deal, which is expected to close during quarter 3 of 2019, Barefoot will support Intel’s focus on end-to-end cloud networking and infrastructure leadership. One driver for Intel's move could be Nvidia's recent acquisition of Mellanox, signalling a new phase in cloud wars.
More about Intel, Ethernet, Barefoot Networks, Information technology
 
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