SAN FRANCISCO—Intel Corp. declined the opportunity to acquire microserver startup SeaMicro Inc. prior to the announcement last week that Intel's chief competitor in the microprocessor market, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., would acquire SeaMicro for $334 million, according to Diane Bryant, Intel vice president and general manager of the company's Datacenter and Connected Systems Group.
Speaking at a press event to launch Intel's Xeon Processor E5-2600 Product Family here Tuesday (March 6), Bryant said Intel was approached by prior to the AMD deal by executives from SeaMicro, which thus far has brought to market only products with Intel's Atom and Xeon chips.
"We did look at SeaMicro's fabric," Bryant said. "There are probably very few people they didn't come to and shop their technology. We were not impressed. We declined. Very soon after our competitor acquired them.
Bryant said Intel intends to continue to participate strong in the microserver market. Other firms, including Dell, Supermicro, NEC, Hitachi and Tyan, offer microservers based on Intel processors. Bryant said Intel believes it will continue to be the leading processor supplier to microservers.
"We believe we have a very strong roadmap for microservers," Bryant said.
Diane Bryant, general manager of Intel's Datacenter and Connected Systems Group, speaking at a press conference in San Francisco Tuesday.
Of course a major company downplays the significance of a smaller competitor buying a technology that they passed on. This isn't news, this is expected. News would be Intel expressing regrets that they didn't buy the technology when it was offered.
Well, you know in this business, the best defense, besides offense, is not to be defensive. That is why it is common for "no comments" to be a response. In this case, Intel could have spun it jokingly around to say "glad AMD has come around". Instead, it gave the message that even though you were once a supporter of Intel technology, Intel can turn its back on you, rather than help you develop.
KB +1 on that.
Sour grapes and likely a strong bit of not-invented-here (NIH) mentality from Intel's team. They have their own Xenon horse in the server race now - buying Seamicro might have been an acquisition disaster, ie, not enough room in the sandbox for two server chip design teams.
AKB3001- Possibly. I would have been a lot more surprised if she had said something like, "Yes, SeaMicron has great technology and we are kicking ourselves for not thinking of acquiring that company."
Still, I thought this was a particularly strong worded comment about a competitor's acquisition.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.