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.

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