GRAPHICS OUTFIT Nvidia has confirmed that it's buying Israeli chipmaker Mellanox for $6.9bn (£5.3bn).
The deal, which is Nvidia's largest to date, reportedly saw the firm topple a $6bn bid made by Intel. Microsoft and Xilinx, a US-based supplier of programmable logic devices, were also allegedly eying up the company.
This high-profile interest is hardly surprising; Mellanox is renowned for its high-performance computing and networking tech and makes adapters, switches, and chips for InfiniBand and Ethernet network devices that are used in more than half of the world's publicly-listed fastest computers.
The deal will help Nvidia to better compete in the data centre market, which currently accounts for around a third of its sales. The firm is still heavily reliant on the gaming market and GPU sales, the latter of which has bitten Nvidia recently due to the crypto-mining crash.
Nvidia says that going forward, with Mellanox onboard, it'll be able to "optimise data center-scale workloads across the entire computing, networking and storage stack to achieve higher performance, greater utilization and lower operating cost for customers."
"The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fueling skyrocketing demand on the world's data centres," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia.
"Addressing this demand will require holistic architectures that connect vast numbers of fast computing nodes over intelligent networking fabrics to form a giant datacenter-scale compute engine.
"We're excited to unite Nvidia's accelerated computing platform with Mellanox's world-renowned accelerated networking platform under one roof to create next-generation datacenter-scale computing solutions. I am particularly thrilled to work closely with the visionary leaders of Mellanox and their amazing people to invent the computers of tomorrow."
Eyal Waldman, founder and CEO of Mellanox, added: "We share the same vision for accelerated computing as Nvidia. Combining our two companies comes as a natural extension of our longstanding partnership and is a great fit given our common performance-driven cultures.
"This combination will foster the creation of powerful technology and fantastic opportunities for our people."
Nvidia could struggle to gain regulatory approval for the deal. The process has become more difficult in recent months due to the ongoing trade war between the US and China, which recently forced Qualcomm to abandon its bid for NXP. µ
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