Intel Buys High-Bandwith Networking Technology Maker InfiniBand

The chip giant continues to expand its reach ever outward

Intel bought many companies over the years, but the latest acquisition may not exactly be easy to guess, since it is not about central processing units.

Intel has officially announced that it has reached an agreement with QLogic for the acquirement of all product lines and certain assets related to the InfiniBand business.

In other words, the already massive corporation will soon own its own high-bandwidth networking intellectual property.

With that technology in hand, the Santa Clara, California-based IT giant can start on new, scalable HPC (high-performance computing) applications.

The announcement did not say how much money Intel was going to pay QLogic.

Either way, if Intel plays its new cards right, it should be able to recover its losses and continue to make even more money as time passes.

“At the International Supercomputing Conference 2011, Intel unveiled a bold vision to redefine HPC performance and break the Exascale barrier by 2018,” said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center and Connected System Group.

“The technology and expertise from QLogic provide important 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 datacenter customers.”

A large number of InfiniBand employees are expected to be offered (and accept) positions at Intel, once the transition process begins.

Once everything is set up (by the end of this first quarter of 2012), work on new technologies and products should start immediately.

Right now, the goal is to achieve supercomputing fabric architectures of ExaFLOP/s level performance by 2018.

For those unaware, An ExaFLOP/s is the same as “a quintillion computer operations per second”, as Intel put it. That is the equivalent of a hundred times more than the maximum prowess of today's strongest supercomputers.

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