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IDT Buys Chip Design Assets from IBM

IDT (Integrated Device Technology Tuesday said it has acquired some assets from IBM's integrated circuit portfolio.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker said it will take over network search engine (NSE) product designs from the Armonk, N.Y.-based behemoth, but continue to employ IBM as its foundry to make its communications chips. IDT makes pin- and software-compatible devices operating up to 250 MHz that help classify and offload the search functions from ASICs and network processor units that allow for services such as policy-based routing, billing, and access control lists. The technology is designed to accelerate packet processing at the processor level in core, metro and access routers.

IBM had been developing 4.5-Mbit and 18-Mbit full-ternary content addressable memory-based NSEs targeting next-generation platforms. The company says none of its employees will be transferred as part of the acquisition. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"With the addition of these devices that complement our internal development efforts, we continue to extend our portfolio of next-generation packet-processing solutions," IDT president and CEO Greg Lang said in a statement.

The acquired product designs consist of 128Kx36 (4.5-Mbit) and 512Kx36 (18-Mbit) devices. As part of the agreement, IBM will serve as the foundry and will manufacture these NSEs in a 0.13-micron, copper process. The company said initial products are sampling now.

"Acquiring these NSE product designs from IBM enhances the IDT product portfolio and market share for the enterprise switching market," said Jag Bolaria, senior analyst at The Linley Group.

The rest of IDT's portfolio includes products optimized for communications applications, including telecom products, FIFOs, multi-ports, and clock management products. In addition, the product mix includes high-performance digital logic and high-speed SRAMs.