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Cisco acquires network processor startup

Posted: 03 May 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Cisco Systems? Navarro Networks? network processor? ASIC?

Cisco Systems Inc. bolstered its technology portfolio Wednesday (May 1) when it announced plans to acquire Navarro Networks, a network-processor startup it had helped fund.

Cisco is offering $85 million in stock to acquire Navarro, a startup described by Cisco officials as a specialist in Ethernet ASICs. But Navarro's initial goal was to work with Cisco to design a high-end network processor, according to a press release from 2000.

Cisco had taken a minority stake in Navarro as part of a $17.5 million venture funding package the startup received from Cisco and Sevin Rosen Funds in April 2000, one month after it was founded.

Some of Navarro's founders hailed from the processor divisions of IBM Corp. and SGS-Thompson Microelectronics (now STMicroelectronics), and founding chief executive Mark Bluhm was a former vice president with microprocessor upstart Cyrix Corp. Navarro's 25 employees, including Bluhm, are being added to Cisco's Internet Systems Business Unit.

Cisco officials have said they're interested in using off-the-shelf network processors for the company's routers but haven't found one that suits their needs, at least not in high-end boxes. So Cisco has continued to develop its own ASICs and work with startups such as Navarro.

Separately, Cisco today announced plans to acquire software firm Hammerhead Networks Inc. for up to $173 million in stock.

? Craig Matsumoto

EE Times

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