Sun Acquires Afara For UltraSPARC

By Michael Singer (Send Email)
Posted Jul 23, 2002


Sun Microsystems Tuesday said it has acquired Afara Websystems, Inc., for an undisclosed amount of stock and options. The stock and options deal is expected to boost the networking giant's market share of the UNIX-based server market.

The San Jose, Calif.-based startup develops next-generation, SPARC-based microprocessor technology, which the Palo Alto, Calif.-based networking giant said would fit nicely in its UltraSPARC development.

Sun's workstations based on the SPARC chips include the SPARCstation, SPARCserver, Ultra1, Ultra2 and SPARCcluster.

"Afara brings to Sun a seasoned and talented team of SPARC chip designers, whose advancements in SPARC design will help accelerate Sun's development of future generations of UltraSPARC chips," said Sun Processor and Network Products group executive vice president David Yen.

Last month, Sun renewed its efforts on the UltraSPARC product line. The company's processor strategy comes a time when Intel is rolling out its high-speed server chips.

While Sun has been criticized for the slow rollout of successive UltraSparc versions, the processors are considered a primary component of Sun's overall product portfolio and continue to maintain a respectable level of market share in the Unix server market.

In addition to working with SPARC, Afara was in the middle of developing IP traffic management systems for Ipv6, the next generation of IP access infrastructure. Venture companies, Sequoia Capital and Raza Foundries, primarily funded Afara.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sun acquired all of the outstanding stock and assumed the outstanding options of Afara Websystems. Also as part of the agreement, Sun hired nearly all of Afara's employees.

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