Monday, March 11th 2019

Mellanox Not Quite Intel's Yet, NVIDIA Joins Competitive Bidding

Late January it was reported that Intel is looking to buy out Israeli networking hardware maker Mellanox Technology, in what looked like a cakewalk USD $6 billion deal at the time, which was a 35 percent premium over the valuation of Mellanox. Turns out, Intel hasn't closed the deal, and there are other big tech players in the foray for Mellanox, the most notable being NVIDIA. The GPU giant has reportedly offered Mellanox a competitive bid of $7 billion.

NVIDIA eyes a slice of the data-center networking hardware pie since the company has invested heavily in GPU-based AI accelerators and its own high-bandwidth interconnect dubbed NVLink, and now needs to complete its hardware ecosystem with NICs and switches under its own brand. Founded in 1999 in Yoqneam, Israel, Mellanox designs high performance network processors and fully-built NICs in a wide range of data-center relevant interconnects. Intel is by far the biggest tech company operating in Israel, with not just R&D centers, but also manufacturing sites, in stark contrast to NVIDIA, which opened its first R&D office in 2017 with a few hundred employees.

Update: NVIDIA's bid for Mellanox stands at $7 billion.
Source: CTECH
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16 Comments on Mellanox Not Quite Intel's Yet, NVIDIA Joins Competitive Bidding

#1
hat
Enthusiast
Wasn't this one scaring some about egfectively locking AMD out of the server market by keeping them away from high performance networking? Not sure what nVidia wants with it, though...
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#2
rawadinozor
well i don't see them selling for less than 8 billion now, the company is now worth 5.9 Billion, since both Intel and Nvidia are interested, also Xilinx, and Intel dumped 14 Billion on Mobileye seems only logical.
for Nvidia they could sell them along with their GPUs for super computers / science labs.
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#3
R0H1T
rawadinozor, post: 4009708, member: 186098"
well i don't see them selling for less than 8 billion now, the company is now worth 5.9 Billion, since both Intel and Nvidia are interested, also Xilinx, and Intel dumped 14 Billion on Mobileye seems only logical.
for Nvidia they could sell them along with their GPUs for super computers / science labs.
Nvidia's bid is $ 7B according to the same source with a possible deal closing pretty soon.

Reports: Nvidia Nears a $7 Billion Deal for Mellanox
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#5
ArbitraryAffection
Maybe Israeli government will have a say, as Intel invests heavily in the country as stated in the article. IDK if they would be happy about NVIDIA buying the company as surely it would mean less investment in Israel? As if Intel buys it, it means that the company value will remain , at least partly, in Israel through Intel. Bt w I am Just curious, dont wanna start political debate^^

hat, post: 4009706, member: 32804"
Wasn't this one scaring some about egfectively locking AMD out of the server market by keeping them away from high performance networking? Not sure what nVidia wants with it, though...
Spoiler: "a comment potentially considered 'AMD Fanboy'"
With Intel's history of trying to kick AMD by locking them out, paying OEMs to not use their CPU's and other dirty under-hand tactics this wouldn't surprise me at all. Intel should be scared about their marketshare being eaten, especially with 7nm ROME coming a lot quicker than they will be able ot build a CPU to rival it. 14nm Cascade-Lake dual-die 2x24 Core will be eaten alive by ROME 64C in heavily multi-threaded workloads, and utterly demolished in Perf/Watt I think. Intel still has the ecosystem and brand image advantage right now. A friend of mine who works for an agency in US and says their department required massive I/O capability and heavy multi-thread use said they didn't even evaluate EPYC server (you know, with industry leading I/O and multi-thread) simply because the agency was too heavily invested in Intel ecosystem and brand... So they paid 2x as much for inferior performance ~shrug~ But I digress.
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#6
R0H1T
rawadinozor, post: 4009717, member: 186098"
yes, i am watching closely ( i work at Mellanox ^^ )
Always interesting to get a perspective straight from the proverbial horse's mouth.
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#7
HwGeek
Nvidia needs more products to offer not only gaming cards.
And if they buy Melanox - they gonna doing businesses with AMD :)
Posted on Reply
#8
bpgt64
AMD uses Intel is some cases for Networking, so why would this prevent it?
Posted on Reply
#9
mtcn77
bpgt64, post: 4009844, member: 60142"
AMD uses Intel is some cases for Networking, so why would this prevent it?
Intel bought Altera, Nvidia dumped G-Sync, just saying.
Posted on Reply
#10
bpgt64
mtcn77, post: 4009850, member: 85046"
Intel bought Altera, Nvidia dumped G-Sync, just saying.
I don't understand the point your trying to make. You think this is Catch and Kill?
Posted on Reply
#11
mtcn77
bpgt64, post: 4009863, member: 60142"
I don't understand the point your trying to make. You think this is Catch and Kill?
Altera made those Stratix FPGAs in Nvidia G-Sync modules.
Posted on Reply
#12
erixx

Nice turbo heaters they make, man!
Posted on Reply
#13
yakk
Curious to see if nvidia would keep Mellanox as-is, or make them proprietary for solely nvidia's own use and marketing.
Posted on Reply
#14
hat
Enthusiast
erixx, post: 4009898, member: 82798"

Nice turbo heaters they make, man!
Is that... all just networking equipment?
Posted on Reply
#15
erixx
^yep, you can read that blog clicking on the image. Quite niche for the ordinary gamer, lol. We, the world, were about to cut power consumption down and then came the cloud and the AI....
Posted on Reply
#16
Steevo
erixx, post: 4009974, member: 82798"
^yep, you can read that blog clicking on the image. Quite niche for the ordinary gamer, lol. We, the world, were about to cut power consumption down and then came the cloud and the AI....
There is no cloud, its just someone else's computer.

I'm not entirely surprised, Nvidia does need to complete its ecosystem for large servers, and relying on other third party hardware and software means they might be able to squeeze more performance and price by integrating their own R&D for higher speed transfer fiber/mesh hardware and ensure fewer issues and larger revenue stream.
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