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Data Center and Critical Infrastructure

Cisco Buys Networking Memory Startup

08 October 2014

Networking equipment company Cisco Systems Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) has announced its intent to acquire private held Memoir Systems Inc., a startup company that develops semiconductor memory intellectual property and associated tools.

The announcement was made by way of a column at the Cisco website written by Hilton Romanski, senior vice president of business development at Cisco, without revealing the purchase price.

Memoir was founded in 2009 and began offering embedded memory IP aimed at system-chips being designed for networking and multicore processor markets in 2011. The company, co-founded by Sundar Iyer and Da Chuang and backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, claimed its "algorithmic" systems approach to embedded memory provision could produced an order of magnitude increase in performance while by being independent of the memory type and process technology.

Iyer has previous entrepreneurial experience as the co-founder and CTO of Nemo Systems Inc., which was founded in 2003 and acquired by Cisco in 2006 for $12.5 million.

Memoir is known to have raised $5.1 million in Series A funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners in October 2010.

"This acquisition will enable the proliferation of affordable, fast memory for existing Cisco switch ASICs and will help advance Cisco’s ASIC innovations necessary to meet next-generation IT requirements," said Romanski in his article.

Memoir has been licensing synthesizable logic IP, which speeds up memory access by up to 10 times while reducing the amount of memory needed in typical switch ASICs. The technology allows the development of switch and router ASICs with speeds, feeds, and costs typically not possible with traditional physical memory design techniques, Romanski said.

The acquisition of Memoir Systems is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2015. The Memoir team will report into Cisco’s Insieme business unit, under senior vice president, Mario Mazzola.

Related links and articles:

Hilton Romanski blog

IHS data center, Cloud and IT infrastructure research

News articles:

Cisco Backs Smart-Grid Modem Startup

Cisco Services Growth Outpaces Equipment in FYQ3

Plugging in to the Home Automation Market

Smart Meters: Smart Move for IC Vendors?

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