Cavium headquarters in San Jose, California. (Photo: Cavium)

Cavium headquarters in San Jose, California. (Photo: Cavium)

Cavium Buys SDN-Focused Switch Silicon Firm Xpliant for $90M

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In an effort to boost its position in the switch silicon market for software defined networking, chipmaker Cavium has acquired switch silicon company Xpliant, which specializes in processors for SDN applications.

Cavium was an prior investor in Xpliant, and the $15 million it invested in the company is included in the total $90 million price tag. The rest consists of $40 million in cash and $35 million in stock.

Cavium estimates the Ethernet switch silicon market’s size to be more than $1 billion. Anticipating growth in SDN adoption, the company expects an accelerated refresh cycle for Ethernet switches, which will make the opportunity even greater.

The company said current switch solutions, built on a “legacy fixed-function architecture,” would not be able to address requirements of the next-generation data center, enterprise and service-provider networks.

Xpliant’s current product portfolio includes 10 Gigabit Etherneet, 40 GbE and 100 GbE switching silicon. The company has designed its products specifically with SDN capabilities in mind, according to Cavium.

Cavium said Xpliant’s products would be complementary to its own portfolio, which consists of specialized silicon solutions for networking, wireless, storage and security products. Cavium is also working on bringing to market a 64-bit ARM processor for servers called ThunderX.

Cavium President and CEO Syed Ali said Xpliant’s switching silicon solutions were disruptive. “The Xpliant line of products is highly synergistic with Cavium’s existing infrastructure products and will enable Cavium to deliver highly optimized end to end solutions to our customers,” Ali said.

Cavium customers include Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, IBM, Juniper and Qualcomm, among others.

About the Author

San Francisco-based business and technology journalist. Editor in chief at Data Center Knowledge, covering the global data center industry.

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