SAN FRANCISCO—Intel's agreement to acquire Fulcrum Microsystems Inc. for an undisclosed sum could signal a significant change of direction for the world's biggest chip maker toward providing a comprehensive high-performance, low power solution for data centers.
Fulcrum (Calabasas, Calif.), a privately held, fabless company, produces high bandwidth network switching chips based on an asynchronous switching fabric for data center network providers. The acquisition of Fulcrum could give Intel a head start on an end-to-end solution for data centers.
"Intel is transforming from a leading server technology company to a comprehensive data center provider that offers computing, storage and networking building blocks," said Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and general manager of the company's Data Center Group, in a statement. Skaugen said Fulcrum's switch silicon complements Intel’s processors and Ethernet controllers and would enable Intel to offer customers new levels of performance and energy efficiency while improving the economics of cloud service delivery.
Fulcrum, founded in 2000, was previously included on early integrations of the The EE Times 60 Emerging Startups list. The company has announced several rounds of venture funding over the years totaling at least $55 million for the development of its clockless 10 Gigabit Ethernet and 40 Gigabit Ethernet chips. Fulcrum's technology removes the central clock, which can result in chips consuming less power while performing at gigahertz performance in standard commodity manufacturing processes.
Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) said the acquisition would fulfill an important component in the company's strategy to deliver comprehensive data center building blocks, from server processors and technologies to storage and networking.
The acquisition agreement remains subject to the approval of Fulcrum Microsystems shareholders, as well as regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, Intel said. It is expected to close in the third quarter, the company said.