Just over a year ago, NVIDIA announced its intentions to acquire Mellanox, a leading datacenter networking and interconnect provider. And, after going through some prolonged regulatory hurdles, including approval by the Chinese government as well as a waiting period in the United States, NVIDIA has now closed on the deal as of this morning. All told, NVIDIA is pricing the final acquisition at a cool 7 billion dollars, all in cash.

Overall, in the intervening year, NVIDIA’s reasoning for acquiring the networking provider has not changed: the company believes that a more vertically integrated product stack that includes high-speed networking hardware will allow them to further grow their business, especially as GPU-powered supercomputers and other HPC clusters get more prominent. To that end, it’s hard to get more prominent than Mellanox, whose Ethernet and Infiniband gear is used in over half of the TOP500-listed supercomputers in the world, as well as countless datacenters.

Ultimately, acquiring the company not only gives NVIDIA leading-edge networking products and IP, but it will also allow them to exploit the advantages of being able to develop in-house the high-performance interconnects needed to allow their own high-performance compute products to better scale. NVIDIA already has significant dealings with Mellanox, as the company’s DGX-2 systems incorporate Mellanox’s controllers for multi-node scaling. As well, Mellanox’s hardware is used in both the Summit and Sierra supercomputers, both of which are also powered by NVIDIA GPUs. So this acquisition is in many respects just the latest expansion in NVIDIA’s ongoing efforts to grow their datacenter presence.

Source: NVIDIA

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  • schujj07 - Monday, April 27, 2020 - link

    As a person who uses Mellanox equipment in their data center, I wonder if this is going to change things with support.
  • ZeDestructor - Monday, April 27, 2020 - link

    Not in the near term I think.

    While the marketing and PR and salesmen are all harping on about synergy, and integration and so on, I personally feel that the whole acquisition was entirely a "for the love of god don't give Intel absolute NIC monopoly" move, especially with nV (and Xilinx) entering negotiations *after* Intel announced that they were going to acquire Mellanox. Then a few months after being outbid, Intel announced RDMA-capable controllers to compete against Mellanox. Not a shred of anti-competitive behaviour planned there, eh?
  • schujj07 - Monday, April 27, 2020 - link

    Different question will be dealing with their SFPs. A major reason I went Mellonax is they don't vendor lock their connectors. This makes it easy to connect a Mellanox 100GbE switch to an Aruba 1GbE switch as the Mellanox switch doesn't care about the SFP coding. Will nVidia's management want to make thing vendor locked now?
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - link

    Of course they'll *want* to - Nvidia management love them some vendor lock-in - but I doubt they would do so in the short-to-medium term.
  • ZeDestructor - Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - link

    Same as the support question. Personally, seeing how things are running right now, I feel nV is perfectly happy letting the Mellanox team do their own thing. As long as they can remain at the top-end of the market performance-wise and profitable.
  • UltraWide - Monday, April 27, 2020 - link

    It looks like they want the GPU to exist in the date center without relying on x86 processor to control it.
  • webdoctors - Monday, April 27, 2020 - link

    I don't know a lot about this space, but how would a networking chip replace the x86 processor in the data center? I think they're pretty independent. I don't think this will change anything for regular Mellanox customers.
  • Griffinme - Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - link

    Are they going to change their pricing to match their server GPU scheme? Their server GPU's are nice but the pricing is crazy. To the point where particular AMD GPU server chips can't be found. Certain cloud providers took all of them.
  • Eliadbu - Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - link

    Their high performance Switches and NICs aren't that affordable anyway, I don't think pricing will change much since they need to stay competitive
  • syristix - Saturday, May 2, 2020 - link

    Israeli American company - at the risk of sounding somewhat controversial WTF has it got to do with the chinese?

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