Amazon to acquire Israeli startup Annapurna Labs for data center muscle

Amazon.com is to acquire a semiconductor startup in Israel, which has been operating secretively since it was set up in 2011.

Jacinda Mein, a spokeswoman for Amazon Web Services, confirmed Thursday that Amazon has agreed to acquire Annapurna Labs, but added that the company had nothing else to share at this time.

The technology being acquired by Amazon could be used in the vast data centers it runs for its own retail operations and for those of its Amazon Web Services unit.

Annapurna develops midrange networking chips for data centers that transmit more data while consuming less power, according to the Wall Street Journal, which quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying that Amazon was discussing paying US$350 million for the startup.

The company in Yokneam was founded by Avigdor Willenz, founder of chip design company Galileo Technologies in Israel, that was acquired by Marvell Technology Group in 2001, according to the newspaper.

“Annapurna Labs puts together some of the best talent to address significant industry challenges,” Willenz wrote on the company website, which has little other information on what it does. “In my experience, their talent, innovation and open culture is unmatched in the semiconductor industry.” The company said on its Twitter and LinkedIn profiles that it was operating in “stealth mode.”

Annapurna has sites in Israel and Silicon Valley.

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