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Xilinx, a manufacturer of highly specialized semiconductor technologies, has announced the acquisition of Solarflare Communications.

Solarflare uses FPGAs, which are computer chips that can be reprogrammed at any time to perform specific tasks more efficiently. This in turn enables the creation of smart network interface cards that integrate networking, storage and compute, reports Silicon Angle.

These so-called SmartNICS reduce latency, as they ensure that these workloads no longer need to run on CPUs. This also gives a boost to the performance of the servers and offers better connectivity. In addition, Solarflare Communications makes special acceleration software for customers to take advantage of SmartNICS.

Xilinx is a significant player in the chip industry, although the company is less well known than its competitors. The company built its first commercial FPGAs in 1985, and has big names like Microsoft and Huawei as customers. Microsoft would use Xilinx chips to control more than half of its Azure cloud servers.


Xilinx said the acquisition of Solarflare Communications should help accelerate its new “data center first” strategy. That strategy was announced by the company last year. The chip manufacturer hopes that it will help to transform itself from a chip manufacturer to more of a platform company such as Intel and Nvidia.

The acquisition is no surprise, as the two companies already have a close relationship. Xilinx was one of the main financiers in Solarflare’s last investment round in 2018. This year they also showed their first joint product: an FPGA-based SmartNIC, capable of processing 100 million data packets per second.

“The Solarflare team has been working closely with Xilinx on next-generation networking technology and business collaboration since it became a strategic investor,” said RUssell Stern, CEO of Solarflare. The acquisition is expected to be completed in about six months, which is the second quarter of Xilinx’s fiscal year 2020. Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.