Intel has quietly been integrating the fabric controller on chips and made a series of acquisitions to boost its interconnect and networking portfolio, Hazra said. Intel bought privately held networking company Fulcrum for an undisclosed price in July last year, acquired InfiniBand assets from Qlogic $125 million in January this year, and then purchased interconnect assets from Cray $140 million in April.
Intel's rival Advanced Micro Devices has its own fabric technology acquired from SeaMicro, a server company it purchased for $334 million [M] this year. Prior to the acquisition, SeaMicro previously developed microservers with Intel and was subject to rumors of acquisition by the chip maker. But soon after AMD acquired SeaMicro, Intel said it was working on its own fabric and had no interest in the SeaMicro's fabric technology.
AMD is now selling SeaMicro-branded servers technology and has plans to put the fabric, called Freedom Fabric, in products ranging from dense servers to supercomputers. AMD executives have hinted they will integrate the fabric controller inside chips. AMD is expected to make an announcement around its SeaMicro products on Monday. Server chip maker Calxeda also has a system-on-chip called EnergyCore that packs ARM processor cores with a fabric switch.