Marvell recently announced the acquisition of switch chip manufacturer Innovium for US$1.1 billion to increase revenue in the data center market. The deal is an all-stock transaction and expected to close by the end of the calendar year.

Formed in 2014, Innovium is a private company with a staff of 230, 185 of which are engaged in R&D. Innovium shipped over 1 million 400-gigabit switch-silicon ports in 2020 and expects revenues of $150 million in 2022.

Marvell already has an extensive portfolio of Ethernet switches, and it recently acquired Inphi, a high-speed electro-optics leader for cloud data centers and carrier networks. The combination of Innovium with Inphi, Marvell’s most recent $10 billion acquisition, will enable the company to co-package optics alongside the high-bandwidth, low-latency switch chips.

“Inphi has quite a bit of experience shipping silicon photonics with the ColorZ and ColorZ II modules,” says Nariman Yousefi, executive vice president, automotive, coherent DSP and switch group at Marvell. “And we have programmes inside the company to do co-packaged optics as well.”

Devan Adams, a senior analyst at LightCounting, a market research organization in the field of optical communications, pointed out that Marvell has an extensive supply chain and has a strategic relationship with chip foundry TSMC, which will benefit Innovium's chip manufacturing, especially when chips are now in global shortage.