Cisco bolsters low-latency networking with Exablaze acquisition

Networking giant makes strategic acquisition of Australian provider of ultra-low latency devices and FPGA-based applications

Cisco has announced its intention to acquire advanced network device designer and manufacturer Exablaze.

Established in Australia in 2013, Exablaze is a provider of latency networking equipment, with offices in Sydney, New York, London and Shanghai. It primarily builds field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based network devices that are targeted at applications in financial trading, big data analytics, high-performance computing, telecommunications and datacentres.

The financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but Cisco expects to complete in the third quarter of its 2020 fiscal year.

The move comes days after Cisco announced its Internet for the Future strategy based on the pillars of silicon, software and optics. The first fruits of this strategy include Silicon One, a first-ever single, programmable unified silicon architecture, which will be complemented by products such as Exablaze’s.

Cisco believes that integrating Exablaze’s products and technology into its portfolio will give it customers in industries and market segments such as high-frequency trading (HFT), financial services, high-performance computing, and emerging artificial intelligence/machine learning clusters.

“In the case of the high-frequency trading sector, every sliver of time matters,” said Rob Salvagno, vice-president of corporate development and investments at Cisco. “By adding Exablaze’s segment-leading ultra-low latency devices and FPGA-based applications to our portfolio, financial and HFT customers will be better positioned to achieve their business objectives and deliver on their customer value proposition. Together, Cisco and Exablaze will accelerate next-generation low-latency solutions for intent-based networks.”

Greg Robinson, chairman and co-founder of Exablaze, added: “Today marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the Exablaze story. Naturally, we are very flattered that an organisation of Cisco’s size and calibre would show interest in us, let alone seek to acquire us, and we are very excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.

“We will be investing a great deal of thought and deliberation into how we go about the merger process, keeping in mind the close business relationships that we have grown over the years, as well as the unique attributes of our agile and fast-moving industry. We have many exciting new products and ideas in the pipeline, and look forward to developing, selling and supporting them under the Cisco banner.”

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