Recently, Intel officially announced that it is buying BarefootNetworks, a startup, to beef up its Ethernet infrastructure for managing communications chips.The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.Notably, the company has received investment from alibaba, tencent and other domestic companies.
In fact, Barefoot Networks first stood out for developing the world's first software-defined network "SDN" chips.Its switch chip is faster than any other on the market today and can process network packets at 6.5 terabytes per second.Not only that, but the new chip makes it easier for users to program networks. Built into network switches and hardware, the chip allows users to program the chips to improve operational efficiency for their specific purpose.
And this, be the key technology that current Intel needs to make up badly.Intel has concluded that more than half of the world's data has been generated in the past two years, but only 2% of that data has been analyzed.As a result, how to make better use of these data, Intel is now thinking about the problem.
The acquisition of Barefoot Networks could complement both Intel's weaknesses in data management in the cloud and its existing connectivity products.At the same time, it also caters to the market's requirements for data analysis and computing performance, and further improves the performance of Intel's data center exchange data network system from the aspects of software and hardware.
It is worth noting that in November 2016, alibaba and tencent participated in the C round of financing of us $20 million by BarefootNetworks.BarefootNetworks also announced partnerships with baidu, tencent and alibaba in May 2017, and BAT has deployed ground-breaking programmable forwarding plane technology developed by BarefootNetworks in its existing network.At the time, BarefootNetworks' Tofino switch, with a throughput of 6.5Tb/s, was the fastest P4 programmable switch chip in the world.
Apparently, Intel is not the only company to see the current information explosion brought about by the huge business opportunities, domestic manufacturers are more so.While the acquisition of Barefoot Networks by Intel is now a certainty, a number of Chinese vendors have invested in Barefoot Networks earlier, so for the time being they will be able to share in the latest technology the company brings and ensure they are not left behind in the cloud-based data processing market.
Meanwhile, in the era of Internet of things, the number of intelligent connection terminals will explode, and the data scale generated by them will also increase exponentially.According to a report by Seagate, an international research organization and data storage company, China produced 7.6 zettabytes in 2018, and the volume of data is expected to grow to 486 zettabytes by 2025, compared with 1 zettabyte.With such a huge amount of data, it is necessary to have enough excellent switch chips to assist in processing. Especially, Ethernet switch chips like Barefoot Networks possess great flexibility, which naturally makes them the favored partners of domestic cloud data giants.
However, Intel has not disclosed the specific form of acquisition and the amount.But the editors believe that as long as Intel does not fully acquire all of Barefoot Networks, domestic manufacturers can still have a stake in them, which means they will be able to continue to share the latest technology in Barefoot Networks and have a head start in today's cloud-based data processing market.However, if Intel adopts the way of full acquisition, it will undoubtedly have a certain impact on the business of large domestic cloud technology providers. Therefore, the editor believes that domestic manufacturers are also in urgent need of finding new alternative solutions, so as to reduce the risk of their own business affected by this acquisition.