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Infiniband Networking Leader Mellanox Acquired by Nvidia in $6.9B Deal

Tuesday Mar 12th 2019 by Sean Michael Kerner

The deal will bring together two giants in the HPC space in a bid to help further accelerate computing.

Mellanox has long been the premier vendor for InfiniBand network technology, which is often the preferred interconnect for high-performance computing (HPC).

Since the company's formation back in 1999, Mellanox has steadily grown its portfolio both organically and via acquisition. On March 11, Mellanox's journey took a new turn as Nvidia announced a massive $6.9 billion deal to acquire Mellanox. Mellanox, like Nvidia, is a publicly traded company. Under the terms of the deal, Nvidia will pay $125 per each outstanding Mellanox share.

"We share the same vision for accelerated computing as NVIDIA," Eyal Waldman, founder and CEO of Mellanox, wrote in a statement. "Combining our two companies comes as a natural extension of our longstanding partnership and is a great fit given our common performance-driven cultures."

Nvidia and Mellanox are often paired together in HPC deployments, with each vendor providing differentiated elements to help accelerate the most demanding workloads. Mellanox's high-speed interconnects are in 256 of the world's top 500 supercomputers, while Nvidia GPUs are in 127 of the top 50 systems.

By 2023, Nvidia sees a total addressable market for for high-speed network to top $11 billion and with Mellanox, the company is looking to challenge Intel for dominance.

"The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fueling skyrocketing demand on the world’s datacenters," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "We’re excited to unite NVIDIA’s accelerated computing platform with Mellanox’s world-renowned accelerated networking platform under one roof to create next-generation datacenter-scale computing solutions."

Mellanox

Mellanox itself has grown in different ways over the past decade. In November 2010, Mellanox acquiredadvanced Ethernet networking provider Voltaire in a deal value at $218 million.

Though Mellanox has invested in Ethernet, InfiniBand has continued to be its core differentiator. A few short months after acquiring Voltaire, Mellanox in 2011 announced56 Gbps InfiniBand. In 2019, Mellanox is providing connectivity that already an order of magnitude greater with support for HDR 200G InfiniBand.

The top end InfiniBand solution from Mellanox is the HDR InfiniBand Quantum CS8500 Modular Switch system that provide a whopping 320 terabit per second switch capacity, spread across 800 port of 200 gigabit per second data throughout per direction.

"The world-wide strategic race to Exascale supercomputing, the exponential growth in data we collect and need to analyze, and the new performance levels needed to support new scientific investigations and innovative product designs, all require the fastest and most advanced HDR InfiniBand interconnect technology," stated Amir Prescher, senior vice president, end-user sales and business development at Mellanox Technologies. "HDR InfiniBand solutions enable breakthrough performance levels and deliver the highest return on investment, enabling the next generation of the world’s leading supercomputers, hyperscale, Artificial Intelligence, cloud and enterprise datacenters."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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