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Cisco Buying AuroraNetics For US$150m

Cisco Systems Inc. said it has signed a definitive pact to buy privately held AuroraNetics Inc. in an all-stock deal worth up to $150 million.

Cisco said it will record a charge for acquired in-process research and development expenses of no more than $0.01 per share. The acquisition will be accounted for as a purchase and is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2002. The boards of both companies have already approved the deal.

AuroraNetics is a developer of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) silicon technology for metropolitan fiber networks. The acquisition of AuroraNetics "enhances Cisco's development of innovative high-end routing technologies designed to address the rapid growth of data traffic in the metropolitan network environment," officials said in a statement.

AuroraNetics' silicon technology is used in data-optimized fiber rings known as Resilient Packet Rings (RPR). RPR offers service providers the ability to create high-speed metropolitan networks that efficiently transport significant amounts of IP and other data, including Ethernet, company officials said. RPR also provides Cisco customers with the intelligence of an IP network combined with the redundancy benefits of traditional SONET networks. RPR ensures that IP traffic traveling on fiber rings can be quickly restored in the event of a fiber cut, greatly reducing potential loss of service.

Cisco said it plans to license AuroraNetics' silicon design to companies interested in producing and participating in the development of 10Gbps Spatial Reuse Protocol (SRP) RPR-based solutions. Licensing AuroraNetics' design augments Cisco's existing licensing of 2.5Gbps SRP silicon and will help accelerate industry availability of 10Gbps RPR products.

AuroraNetics was founded in 2000, and the company's 52 employees will join Cisco's Public Carrier IP Services Group, Service Provider Line of Business.