Cisco expands switch holdings with Exablaze purchase

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Cisco buys Exablaze.

Last month, Cisco announced it had purchased Exablaze, a firm that specializes in making low latency networking gear and software. Neither firm disclosed financial details of the transaction to the press. However, Cisco noted it would integrate its acquisition into its Nexus data center switch segment.

Why Cisco Bought Exablaze

Prior to its acquisition, Exablaze made its name on developing ultra-low latency networking gear. The Australian firm is known for producing high-performance field-programmable gate array (FPGA) devices. FPGA chips feature internal logic blocks with user-configurable interconnects. Accordingly, companies often use them to facilitate customized functions of specific programs and hardware acceleration.

Exablaze primarily sold its semiconductors to financial trading, data center, telecommunications, and big data analytics organizations corporations.

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Cisco plans to use Exablaze’s technology to bolster its network switching offerings. Moreover, it wants to utilize its global reach and the startup’s innovations to provide its clients with more robust services. In particular, the legacy tech brand wants to work with its new acquisition to develop new artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions.

In a blog post, Cisco noted that it expects to complete its merger with Exablaze by the third quarter of the 2020 fiscal year.

Cisco’s Next-Generation Networking Strategy

Shortly before announcing its acquisition of Exablaze, Cisco unveiled its strategy to stay at the forefront of next-generation networking technology. The corporation’s roadmap is built around its interest in realizing the potential of mobile 5G deployment. Specifically, the company is aiming to develop the silicon, optics, and software needed to bring fifth-generation wireless technology into maturity.

To that end, the brand developed Silicon One, a single-chip architecture designed to work with routing and networking gear. The $1 billion initiative’s first product is the Cisco Q100, a processor capable of facilitating routing speeds of 10.8 Tbps. The firm will use its new astoundingly fast silicon in its forthcoming 8000 series carrier routers.

Cisco wants to use its Silicon One technology to facilitate the workloads of webscale corporations and high-traffic service providers.

Though it’s a leading vendor of enterprise networking gear, the corporation has recently faced encroachment on its territory from expansionist Big Tech firms. Therefore, the company’s major investment in 5G infrastructural tech is shrewd future-proofing, along with its recent acquisition streak.

In 2019, Cisco purchased seven firms, five of which were software companies. However, last July, the conglomerate spent $2.6 billion to acquire optical interconnects company Acacia Communications. Given that 5G networks are going live across the globe this year, the company will likely be snapping up more hardware manufacturers in the near-term.

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