Intel announces acquisition of Killer NIC maker Rivet Networks


Intel announced it has acquired Killer network interface card (NIC) maker, Rivet Networks, for an undisclosed sum on Wednesday. The two brands previously worked together to develop cutting-edge connectivity products.

The chipmaker giant intends to integrate its new subsidiary into its wireless solutions group.

Why Intel Bought Rivet Networks

In its acquisition announcement, Intel explained it acquired Rivet Networks to bolster its connectivity portfolio.

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The company noted the average home now contains 11 internet-enabled devices, which has spiked wireless bandwidth consumption. The firm also mentioned the coronavirus pandemic’s role in accelerating the trend by prompting corporations to transition their on-site employees into remote staffers. As work-from-home has become the new normal for millions of people, their need for high-performance networking gear has surged.

Intel realized it needed to increase its holdings in high-performance connectivity devices and software to address the recent trend.

Rivet Networks made sense as an acquisition because it has a reputation as a supplier of high-end connectivity products. Dell, Alienware, and HP have equipped their gaming laptops with the firm’s NICs because they provide reduced latency and optimized responsiveness. In particular, the company’s components have the capability to prioritize throughput utilization on bandwidth-heavy tasks like video streaming.

The Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker’s decision to buy the connectivity startup was also likely informed by their pre-existing relationship. In 2018, Rivet Networks announced Intel would manufacture its Killer Wireless AC-1550 chip, the product of a three-year collaboration between the two firms. Most recently, the two corporations teamed up to release the Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650, a module that boasts throughput of 2.4 Gbps.

The Road Ahead

AnandTech reports Intel will keep the Killer brand alive after Rivet Networks becomes part of its new parent company. In addition, the startup’s CEO Mike Cubbage will become the corporation’s Senior Director of Connectivity Innovations. The publication also noted the CPU manufacturer would work to scale its newly acquired line of devices and software.

Intel noted that its purchase of Rivet Networks would include Wi-Fi 6 testing and advocacy for new wireless Internet standards.

As such, the chipmaker’s handling of its new property seems very assiduous. Keeping the Killer name alive is smart, given its positive brand associations, as is developing new Wi-Fi 6 solutions in the current environment.

Recently, Facebook and Twitter have indefinitely extended their work-from-home policies, signaling a broader shift in how the technology sector operates. Consequently, homebound staffers will need PCs with high-bandwidth capability in the near-term and for decades to come.

By adding Rivet Networks hardware and software to its portfolio, Intel has taken a significant step to ensure its brand supremacy for the rest of the 21st century.


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