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Intel To Acquire Data Center Network Startup Barefoot Networks

“Barefoot Networks will support our focus on end-to-end cloud networking and infrastructure leadership, and will allow Intel to continue to deliver on new workloads, experiences and capabilities for our data center customer,” said Navin Shenoy, EVP and GM of Intel’s Data Center Group.

Intel is set to acquire network programmability specialist Barefoot Networks in a move to boost the company’s cloud networking and chip-making portfolio.

“Intel has signed an agreement to acquire Barefoot Networks, an emerging leader in Ethernet switch silicon and software for use in the data center, specializing in the programmability and flexibility necessary to meet the performance and ever-changing needs of the hyperscale cloud,” said Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel, in a blog post on Tuesday.

“Barefoot Networks will support our focus on end-to-end cloud networking and infrastructure leadership, and will allow Intel to continue to deliver on new workloads, experiences and capabilities for our data center customer,” Shenoy said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

[Related: Software-Defined Data Center 50: Hot SDDC Vendors To Watch]

Intel says Santa Clara, Calif.-based Barefoot Networks will add deep expertise in cloud network architectures, P4-programmable high-speed data paths, silicon switching innovation, driver software, network telemetry and computational networking to Intel’s portfolio. Barefoot’s flagship product, Tofino, uses Protocol Independent Switch Architecture.

Barefoot Networks, which has been a staple at large networking shows like Cisco Live, burst onto the networking scene in 2016 led by CEO Dr. Craig Barratt, who was previously a senior vice president at Google Alphabet, with Ethernet switch silicon and software for use in data centers. Barefoot specialized in designing and operating the world’s fastest and most programmable networks.

Shenoy said Intel is striving to better enable customers to harness the potential of data as only a small percent of data being collected is analyzed. He said an essential part of the equation is providing data center interconnects that can keep pace with customers’ growing requirements.

The privately-held startup is backed by Google Alphabet, Goldman Sachs, Alibaba as well as venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Intel expects its acquisition of Barefoot Networks to close in the third quarter of 2019.

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