Broadcom to Acquire Siliquent Technologies, a Developer of Advanced Ethernet Processing Technology for Server Networking, Network Storage and Clustering Applications
IRVINE and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 19, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in wired and wireless broadband communications semiconductors, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Siliquent Technologies, Inc., a privately-held developer of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) network interface controllers (NICs) with advanced Ethernet processing technology for server networking, network storage and clustering applications. Headquartered in Mountain View, with research and development facilities in Tel Aviv, Israel, Siliquent™ develops Ethernet controllers that boost server performance. Siliquent's advanced Ethernet processing technology enables servers to improve overall application performance while taking advantage of the emerging convergence of data, storage and clustering technologies into a single, standards-based Ethernet fabric.
The acquisition of Siliquent significantly accelerates Broadcom's delivery of 10GbE converged-NICs (C-NICs) for server LAN-on-motherboard (LOM) applications. According to NIC and LOM market share and forecast reports from Gartner Dataquest, 10GbE will be a significant market opportunity for enterprise networks since it enables a 10x increase in network bandwidth over today's 1GbE technology. This rise in bandwidth is driven by increased use and build out of the broadband network infrastructure, more desktops running 1GbE, growing usage of network-intensive applications and even greater amounts of user data stored and accessed on the network. Gartner Dataquest predicts that 10GbE technology will begin its volume ramp in servers beginning in 2007.
Blade servers are believed to be one of the likely early adopters of 10GbE C-NIC technology. By completely integrating multiple servers and a switch into a single chassis, the blade server's networking communications occurs over an internal electrically connected backplane. Through the use of low-cost serializers/deserializers (SerDes) technology, blade servers avoid the need for expensive, power-intensive optical transceivers and fiber optic cables associated with the deployment of 10GbE technology. Because 10 Gigabit Ethernet C-NICs are able to integrate the SerDes function, many blade servers that are already designed to support 10 gigabit speeds are ready to accept a 10GbE C-NIC solution.
The Siliquent 10GbE advanced Ethernet processing technology, combined with the use of low-cost 10 gigabit SerDes, enables a more simplified blade server design that can operate on a standard, single Ethernet fabric. The advantages of this 10GbE single fabric approach in the blade server environment are significant when contrasted against the current practice of implementing multiple communications fabrics (i.e. Ethernet for networking, Fibre Channel for block storage, proprietary solutions or Infiniband for clustering), each of which require a communications card on every server and a separate switch, consuming even more backplane space. According to IDC's "Worldwide Blade Server 2004-2008 Forecast," blade server shipments are expected to grow to 30% of server shipments by 2008.
"With 10GbE being the next frontier for enterprise networks, our acquisition of Siliquent provides technology that enables Broadcom to deliver TCP/IP offload, iSCSI and RDMA capabilities on a single-chip, 10GbE controller," said Greg Young, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's High-Speed Controller Line of Business. "10GbE completes our C-NIC vision and levels the performance playing field against competitive network fabrics such as Infiniband and Fibre Channel, enabling Broadcom to unify the data center around a single ubiquitous, standards-based Ethernet fabric that delivers higher levels of performance and improved network communications."
At closing of the acquisition, Broadcom expects to pay approximately $76 million in cash in exchange for all outstanding shares of capital stock and vested options of Siliquent. A portion of the consideration payable to the shareholders will be placed into escrow pursuant to the terms of the acquisition agreement. Broadcom will also assume all unvested employee stock options of Siliquent, which will entitle the holders to receive up to approximately 200,000 shares of Broadcom Class A common stock upon vesting. The boards of directors of each of the companies and the shareholders of Siliquent have approved the merger. The closing, which is expected to occur during Broadcom's third fiscal quarter ending September 30, 2005, remains subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Broadcom may record a one-time charge for purchased in-process research and development expenses related to the acquisition in its third fiscal quarter. The amount of that charge, if any, has not yet been determined.