Nvidia purchased Israeli chip-maker Mellanox for $6.9 billion USD (about $9.3 billion CAD), trumping Intel’s previous $6 billion bid for the company.
The Mellanox acquisition is Nvidia’s largest to date and will help the company bolster its server, self-driving and networking products.
Mellanox manufacturers chips for high-speed ethernet and InfiniBand networks typically used to connect servers. Additionally, high-performance supercomputers used for AI and other data-intensive computing rely on Mellanox chips.
Ultimately, the acquisition will help Nvidia compete better in the server market, which makes up about a third of the company’s sales.
Mellanox’s portfolio will help Nvidia’s autonomous vehicle, robot and neural network efforts as well, which could help it push out more advanced products in those segments.
Nvidia says the demands of data and compute intensity in AI, scientific computing and data analytics workloads are growing exponentially. However, as demand surges, CPU performance advances are falling off.
As such, Nvidia says there is increased demand for its and Mellanox’s products. Nvidia CEO Jensen Juang says bringing together the company’s accelerated computing platform with Mellanox’s accelerated networking platform will help in developing next-gen datacenter-scale computing solutions.