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Motorola Flying With NetPlane Acquisition

Motorola Monday said it has purchased NetPlane Systems from Conexant Systems for an undisclosed amount of cash.

NetPlane develops networking protocol software for the control plane (specialized hardware and software, embedded in networking equipment). The Westborough, Mass.-based firm is a business of Mindspeed Technologies, the Internet infrastructure business of Newport Beach, Calif.-based Conexant.

With the acquisition, Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola said it will target the telecom industry by incorporating NetPlane's technology with its hardware and software building blocks to build next-generation networks and embedded computing applications.

"With the telecom industry's focus on cost savings, we believe that pre- integrated platforms are critical to OEMs' new, sustainable product development models," said NetPlane vice president and general manager Deepak Shahane. "We've worked closely with Motorola Computer Group in the past, so we feel confident that this combination is a strategic way to broaden our customer reach."

Motorola also said its Computer Group would continue to expand NetPlane's source code business and support its customer base of nearly 300 OEMs around the world.

The two companies said their technologies are also good for markets outside the telecom industry. For example, NetPlane said its control plane protocols can be put on CompactPCI or VMEbus boards or Processor PMC (PrPMC) modules supplied by Motorola for applications in industrial automation and defense industries.

NetPlane has 62 employees between its two offices in Westborough, Massachusetts and Hyderabad, India. Both operations will continue under the Motorola Computer Group. All 62 employees were offered to stay on with Motorola.

Motorola is also on the cusp of a $30 million all-cash buyout bid for Next Level Communications .