The News: On December 16, 2019 Cisco announced its intent to acquire Exablaze*, a privately held, Australia-based designer and manufacturer of advanced network devices. Exablaze’s design and manufacturing innovation offer customers the latest Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology with the required flexibility and programmability for environments where ultra-low-latency and high performance is critical. These next-generation products include advanced ultra-low latency FPGA-based switches and network interface cards (NICs), as well as picosecond resolution timing technology. Read the full press release from Cisco.
Analyst Take: Cisco has continued its run of portfolio acquisitions to further its strengths in key areas. On the heels of its big Future of the Internet event, the company has announced another acquisition to enhance its networking capabilities with Exablaze.
While Exablaze will become part of its Nexus portfolio of data center switches. I take from the announcement that the company will work closely with Cisco to develop a series of next-generation switches, with an emphasis on AI and ML as the company seeks to increase its offerings in that area.
Beyond the AI play, I also see the Exablaze acquisition as important for the field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology offered by the company. Given the application specific uses, giving the customer the ability to custom program these switches to perform in ultra low latency situations like high frequency trading will prove to be an important differentiation for the Exablaze products, which further enhances the Cisco line.
Being the 6th acquisition for Cisco this year, Exablaze is another important, incremental acquisition that will take the company forward as it seeks to support shifting network infrastructures that require greater flexibility and performance.
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