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Solarflare's 10GBase-T line bought by Marvell

Posted: 12 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:10GBase-T? acquisition? 10Gb Ethernet?

Signaling its departure from the PHY business, Solarflare Communications Inc. announced on May 9 that it has sold all of its 10GBase-T assets. The company develops 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE) server adapters and software.

Solarflare did not identify the buyer or disclose the purchase price for the company's 10GBase-T assets. It called the buyer "an unnamed merchant semiconductor company" and said the details of the transaction could not be disclosed.

However,, a website that tracks Southern California technology news, reported on April 20 that Marvell Technology Group Ltd was in the process of buying all or part of Solarflare.

A spokesperon for Marvell declined to comment on the report.

The 10GBase-T standard, or IEEE 802.3an-2006, was released in 2006 to provide 10Gbps connections over unshielded or shielded twisted pair cables, over distances up to 100m.

Solarflare said on May 9 that it launched a family of 10GbE SFP+ and 10GBase-T server adapters, and a portfolio of OpenOnload and EnterpriseOnload application acceleration middleware in 2010 and the first quarter of 2011.

"Our deal to sell the 10GBase-T business is good for our current installed base of 10GBase-T customers who will now benefit from having continued support for the best 10GBase-T product on the market," said Russell Stern, Solarflare CEO, in a statement. "We have now reached critical mass. Solarflare will continue to build on its success in the 10GbE server adapter market by growing share in high frequency trading and HPC segments, and launching solutions targeting the virtualization and big data segments. We're excited by what the rest of 2011 will bring to the company."

Marvell had been expected to enter the 10GBase-T market, where PLX Technologies Inc. and Broadcom Corp. are the early leaders. The chip market for 10Gbps Ethernet over copper cables will only amount to a little more than $350 million in 2014, but will take off rapidly after that as 10GBase-T takes off, according to a January report from market research firm LightCounting.

Also on May 9, Aquantia Corp., a provider of 10GBase-T connectivity chips, announced it is sampling a quad-port 10GBase-T PHY IC in a 25mm x 25mm package. Acquantia said the device, AQ1402, is the smallest quad-port 10GBase-T PHY available in the industry and the only device that allows a single-row implementation for mainstream 1RU 48-port 10GbE switches.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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