Intel has announced the acquisition of fabless semiconductor company Fulcrum Microsystems. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011, are not being disclosed.

Fulcrum Microsystems designs Ethernet switch silicon for data center network providers. Fulcrum’s provide interconnect devices for storage, computing and networking backplane, and interconnect applications in the United States and internationally. The company’s products include FocalPoint, which includes Ethernet switch/router chips; ControlPoint Software Suite that comprises Ethernet bridging, switching, and routing software modules; and PivotPoint SPI-4.2 Interconnect Chip.

Intel says that as demand for data continues to increase, there is a growing need for high-performance, low-latency network switches to support cloud architectures and the growth of converged networks in the enterprise. Fulcrum Microsystems’ 10GbE and 40 Gigabit Ethernet switch silicon help support this.

Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and general manager, Data Center Group, says that Fulcrum’s chips will help Intel become a “comprehensive data center provider that offers computing, storage and networking building blocks.” Fulcrum’s technology, Skaugen explains, complements Intel’s processors and Ethernet controllers.

Fulcrum has raised $81 million from Granite Ventures, Infinity Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Palomar Ventures, Worldview Technology Partners, TI Ventures, and The Athenaeum Fund.

Intel also recently acquired the assets of SySDSoft to accelerate its 4G LTE efforts.

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