Amazon to sell WiFi, IoT chips

Amazon’s Annapurna Labs’ chips are custom designed to support high performance networking

Annapurna Labs Inc., a company quietly bought by Amazon last year, announced this week that it will expand efforts to sell chips for use in next-generation WiFi and Internet of Things devices.

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In a press release, Annapurna says that current WiFi routers and other network devices do not have chips powerful enough and optimized for their use cases. Annapunra hopes to solve that issue by creating ARM chips with up to the ability to support up to four cores of high performance general purpose compute, network and storage.

Annapurna says the chips are custom designed to support networking and storage and are ideal for home gateways, WiFi routers, NAS appliances, Ultra High Definition streaming and application virtualization. The chips support up to 10G multi-mode Ethernet connectivity; they’re based on Linux and FreeDSB.

Amazon did not disclose the purchase price of the Israeli-founded startup Annapurna, but some media outlets have placed it at $350 million. Speculation at the time was that Amazon would use Annapurna in its Web Services IaaS cloud computing business unit. Annapurna says this is not the first time it is selling its chips, but the market announcement is an expansion of its sales to OEMs and service providers, and it represents the latest foray of Amazon into technical hardware components.

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