Intel buys Pivot Technology’s Smart Edge platform
The deal is meant to help Intel fulfill its vision of becoming a leader in the emerging edge computing business.
“This transaction enhances our ability to address the 5G network transformation with a leading position in edge computing,” Dan Rodriguez, vice president of Intel’s Data Center Group and general manager of its Network Compute Division, said in a statement. “We plan to take full advantage of our combined technologies and teams to accelerate the development of the edge computing market while creating a compelling solution for customers.”
The Smart Edge platform is an edge computing platform that enterprises and communications service providers can use to run cloudlike services physically closer to their users.
So, for example, these services could run in a company’s own on-premises data center, or at a network edge location such as a factory floor. The main benefit of running such services at the edge is lower latency, which in turn enables greater operational efficiencies, Intel said. Also, in the case of retailers, for example, it would enable them to deliver “location-aware, in-store experiences.”
“This move is in response to the growth in mobile edge computing,” said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “MEC is all about moving the compute closer to the data to improve latency for future 5G applications like smart factories, AR, gaming, and self driving cars.”
The acquisition is also a part of Intel’s effort to build a strategy to protect itself against sagging PC sales, said analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. He said the company has created a two-pronged strategy that involves supporting 5G build outs on one side, and increasing its opportunity to power the network edge.
“The combination of both opportunities gives Intel a chance to remain relevant and provide substantial platform sales going forward, so the acquisition is an important piece in the puzzle for Intel’s success going forward,” Mueller said.
The acquisition also gives Intel a chance to sell more of its hardware. After all, the Smart Edge platform is designed to run Intel’s Xeon Scalable processors, and in the future will also use Intel’s Optane memory and its Field-Programmable Gate Arrays, which are hardware accelerators that can be reprogrammed for specific kinds of computing uses.
Intel said about 25 Smart Edge employees will join its Network and Custom Logic Group when the deal closes in the next few weeks. In addition, the companies have signed a preferred partner agreement that will see Pivot become an authorized reseller of the Smart Edge platform. Pivot will also become a nonexclusive Preferred Systems Integrator for Smart Edge.
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