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Intel splashes out on QLogic InfiniBand purchase

Intel splashes out on QLogic InfiniBand purchase

QLogic's InfiniBand products now belong to Intel, thanks to a whopping $125 million cash deal.

Intel has found a way to spend some of its recent record $12.9 billion profits: buying the InfiniBand business of networking specialist QLogic.

A high-performance switched fabric communications technology frequently found gracing the server rooms of supercomputing houses and other high-performance computing (HPC) specialists, InfiniBand is a niche yet impressive product: available in a variety of different flavours, top-end InfiniBand connections range in performance from 2Gb/s for 1x SDR InfiniBand to an eye-watering 300Gb/s for 12x EDR InfiniBand.

Designed to provide point-to-point serial connectivity between supercomputing nodes, the high throughput couples with extremely low latency to help shuffle data between nodes without harming the overall performance of the system.

In short, it's not a technology you'll be seeing on the desktop any time soon. But it does form an important part of Intel's exascale computing vision - to produce HPC systems with 100 times the performance currently possible at a power draw only double that of today's systems - originally outlined by Intel's vice president and general manager of the Data Centre Group Kirk Skaugen at the International Supercomputing Conference last year.

'At the conference, Intel unveiled a bold vision to redefine HPC performance and break the exascale barrier by 2018,' explained Skaugen in a statement regarding the deal. 'The technology and expertise from QLogic provides inportant assets to provide the scalable system fabric needed to execute on this vision. Adding QLogic's InfiniBand product line to our networking portfolio will bring increased options and exceptional value to our datacentre customers.'

'The sale of these InfiniBand assets will benefit our shareholders by enabling us to provide better focus and greater investment in growth opportunities for the data center with our converged networking, enterprise Ethernet, and storage area networking products,' added QLogic's chief executive and president Simon Biddiscombe. 'After the sale, our cash position will be further strengthened and we expect the impact on earnings per share to be neutral.'

When Biddiscombe says that his company's cash position will be strengthened, he really means it: Intel has confirmed that it's shelling out a whopping $125 million in cash to acquire the assets in a deal which will also see 'a significant number' of QLogic's InfiniBand-specific employees moving to Intel.

Do you think Intel is spending its money wisely, or - given the disparity in earnings between the consumer processor and data centre business units - would it do better shoring up its graphics capabilities instead? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

9 Comments

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ZeDestructor 24th January 2012, 13:43 Quote
Well played Intel, well played.
rollo 24th January 2012, 16:16 Quote
intel could probably buy nvidia and still have change to snap up AMD out of just its profits
jcb121 24th January 2012, 17:42 Quote
how much charity work does intel do?
longweight 24th January 2012, 18:12 Quote
/offtopic

To date they have donated $40,480,300. But what does that have to do with the story? I would link to the source but it would seem you need some practice with the Google machine.

/ontopic

Interesting news! I wonder what this move will result in?
syrioq 24th January 2012, 22:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcb121
how much charity work does intel do?
A little off topic, but yeah, Intel does a fair amount of charity. They also have one of the better matching programs in the industry.
Arkanrais 25th January 2012, 03:29 Quote
I'd like to think intel showed up with a bunch of briefcases full of money to buy the place.
dunx 25th January 2012, 13:26 Quote
They paid for it out of petty cash !

dunx
Xye 25th January 2012, 14:20 Quote
Interesting.

Intel moving into the supercomputer market more? or rather taking more inhouse.
Mister_Tad 25th January 2012, 15:11 Quote
Good time to snap up a bargain, InfiniBand has been fizzling for a few years now.

Hopefully they develop the IP for their own uses, or at least stick to the HPC sector, instead of trying to thrust yet another communications medium to the market - there's a reason InfiniBand has been fizzling!
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