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RealTime IT News

AMCC Scoops Up IBM's PowerPRS Line

Applied Micro Circuits may be eyeing faster-growing segments of the silicon market, but it isn't abandoning communications chips, as today's $47 million purchase of IBM's Packet Routing and Switching (PRS) product line shows.

AMCC acquired the assets and an agreement to license property associated with Big Blue's PowerPRS Switch Fabric product -- which IBM has begun targeting at enterprise boxes in addition to the terabit routers they were initially designed for -- in the deal.

It's also working with IBM to hammer out regulatory requirements of its $3 million acquisition of assets of La Compagnie IBM France, a French affiliate of IBM.

AMCC chairman, president and CEO Dave Rickey hailed the acquisition as a perfect complement to the company's switch fabric portfolio. The PowerPRS product line will allow it to offer customers "an extensive, compatible set of scalable switching solutions targeted at multiple applications, including the core, metro, wireless and SAN markets," he said.

IBM won't leave the PowerPRS realm entirely. Under the deal, IBM, already an AMCC vendor, will manufacture the PowerPRS product line of AMCC as part of its foundry business.

San Diego-based AMCC specializes in designing, developing and manufacturing high-bandwidth silicon integrated circuits (IC) for wide area networks .

The company made a splash earlier this month by buying host bus adapter firm JNI Corp. in a bid to expand into storage area networking . The SAN market is growing significantly faster than the market for communications chips.

Meanwhile, IBM has scaled back parts of its chip business. Earlier this month, it sold its network search engine (NSE) product designs to IDT . As with the AMCC deal, IBM agreed to continue manufacturing that line for IDT.