Cisco buys way deeper into terabit switching

Cisco Systems yesterday announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Growth Networks of Mountain View, California, a developer of network switching silicon, for $355 million.

Cisco says the acquisition strengthens its ability to deliver terabit performance next-generation networking infrastructures to service providers.

Growth Networks' Internet Switching Fabric technology interconnects the input and output ports within high-end switches and routers. It can be used in switches that scale from tens of gigabits per second to tens of terabits per second, Cisco says.

This acquisition provides Cisco with technology and systems expertise to enable the development of the next-generation of switches and routers for optical networking, the company says.

Growth Networks' technology complements Cisco's acquisition of StratumOne Communications in June 1999. Both companies provide Cisco with expertise in semiconductor design and silicon integration.

Growth Networks was founded in 1998. The 53 employees will join Cisco's Public IP Carrier Systems Group within the Service Provider Line of Business.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco common stock will be exchanged for all outstanding shares, warrants and options of Growth Networks. This acquisition will be accounted for as a pooling of interests and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2000.

The acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is subject to various closing conditions, including approval under the Hart Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

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