AMD to Purchase DPU Chip Startup Pensando for $1.9 Billion

Image: AMD

AMD plans to purchase data processing unit (DPU) startup Pensando for $1.9 billion. The California-based company is known for its fully programmable platform. Its customers include Goldman Sachs, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud. Pensando was formed in 2017 by former Cisco engineers.

If approved, the deal is expected to close in Q2 2022. It follows AMD’s purchase of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) chipmaker Xilinx in February. Xilinx partnered with Samsung to develop the first customizable, programmable computational SSD. AMD seeks to solidify its programmable chip technology portfolio with Pensando, allowing it to better compete with Intel and NVIDIA, which have similar technology for the data center.

Press Release

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Pensando for approximately $1.9 billion before working capital and other adjustments. Pensando’s distributed services platform includes a high-performance, fully programmable packet processor and comprehensive software stack that accelerate networking, security, storage, and other services for cloud, enterprise, and edge applications.

“To build a leading-edge data center with the best performance, security, flexibility, and lowest total cost of ownership requires a wide range of compute engines,” said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD chair and CEO. “All major cloud and OEM customers have adopted EPYC processors to power their data center offerings. Today, with our acquisition of Pensando, we add a leading distributed services platform to our high-performance CPU, GPU, FPGA, and adaptive SoC portfolio. The Pensando team brings world-class expertise and a proven track record of innovation at the chip, software, and platform level which expands our ability to offer leadership solutions for our cloud, enterprise, and edge customers.”

Pensando’s products are already deployed at scale across cloud and enterprise customers, including Goldman Sachs, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud. Pensando’s high-performance, highly scalable distributed services platform includes a programmable packet processor that can be distributed throughout a network to efficiently accelerate multiple infrastructure services simultaneously, offloading workloads from the CPU and increasing overall system performance. Combined with Pensando’s system software stack, the platform offers unprecedented performance, scale, flexibility, and security. In real-world cloud deployments, Pensando’s solution demonstrates between 8x and 13x greater performance compared to competitive solutions.

“We are excited to join the AMD family. Our shared cultures of innovation, excellence, and relentless focus on partners and customers make this an ideal combination. Together, we have the talent and tools to deliver on our customers’ vision for the future of computing,” said Pensando CEO Prem Jain. “In less than five years Pensando has assembled a best-in-class engineering team that are experts in building systems together with a rich, deep ecosystem of partners and customers who have currently deployed over 100,000 Pensando platforms into production. Joining together with AMD will help accelerate growth in our core business and enable us to pursue a much larger customer base across more markets.”

“Industry leadership is based on catching business model disruptions enabled by new technologies,” said John Chambers, chair of the board of Pensando. “Pensando is built upon strong customer relationships and a solution that is at least two years ahead in cloud, edge, and enterprise. For example, the performance and scale of Pensando’s distributed services platform are 8x-13x of the largest cloud provider and use less power. Pensando’s smart switching architecture has 100x the scale, and 10x the performance at one-third the cost of ownership of any comparable products in the enterprise market.  Pensando’s leadership position in the software-defined cloud, compute, networking, security, and storage services as part of the much larger AMD portfolio is in my opinion a perfect fit to shape the data center computing landscape for the next decade.”

CEO Prem Jain and the Pensando team will join AMD as part of the Data Center Solutions Group, led by AMD Senior Vice President and General Manager Forrest Norrod. Pensando will remain focused on executing their product and technology roadmaps, now with additional scale to accelerate their business and address growing market opportunities across a broader number of customers.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, following satisfaction of customary closing conditions including approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Source: AMD

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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