Nvidia outbids Intel to buy Israel's Mellanox in data centre push

12 March, 2019, 06:02 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Nvidia offers bid for Israeli chip firm Mellanox: report

A source with information on the deal told Reuters that Nvidia had outbid rival chipmaker Intel in the auction for Mellanox and that a deal could be announced this week.

Representatives for Nvidia, Mellanox and Intel declined to comment.

[O] ver the past several years, the emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning and data analytics has put so much load on the datacenters, and the reason is that the data size and the compute size is so great that it doesn't fit on one computer.

Mellanox is based in Israel and the U.S. and the company's chips are used to power high-speed networks connecting servers. All three companies offered prices above Mellanox's market capitalization of $5.9 billion when markets closed Friday.

"But going out and buying an asset right now, immediately after the recent spate of guide downs may raise a few eyebrows", said Rasgon. In January, the company posted disappointing results for the fourth quarter of 2018, chalking up $2.2 billion in revenue, which was far short of the $2.7 billion it had previously forecast.

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The tie-up also builds on efforts at Nvidia and Mellanox to get out of the cutthroat business of selling chips and into the more profitable business of selling complete systems, said Bob Wheeler, a principal analyst at chip research firm The Linley Group.

Data center revenue accounts for almost a third of Nvidia's sales.

The headlining transaction has already been approved by both companies' boards of directors and is expected to close by the end of calendar year 2019. It could, however, face some regulatory hurdles in China, where Mellanox has major customers such as Alibaba and Baidu.

Its technology transfers data at high speeds within and between the data centres, which are increasingly in demand due to the rise of cloud computing services in which companies rent server space from Amazon, Microsoft and others.

Meanwhile, with NVIDIA's own datacenter and HPC revenues growing by leaps and bounds over the last few years - thanks in big part to the machine learning boom - NVIDIA has made a decision to expand their datacenter product portfolio by picking up Mellanox.

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