Advanced Micro Devices took a big step toward competing in data-center networking with its announced agreement to acquire Pensando for approximately $1.9 billion.\u00a0 \u00a0\nAMD wants the DPU-based architecture and technology Pensando is developing that includes intelligent, programmable software to support software-defined cloud, compute, networking, storage, and security services that could be rolled out quickly in edge, colocation, or service-provider networks.\n\n\u201cThere are a wide range of use cases\u2014such as 5G and IoT\u2014that need to support lots of low latency traffic,\u201d Soni Jiandani, Pensando co-founder and chief business office told Network World last November:\u201cWe\u2019ve taken a ground-up approach to giving enterprise customers a fully programmable system with the ability to support multiple infrastructure services without dedicated CPUs.\u201d\nAMD envisions Pensando\u2019s technology as a way to compete in data-center networking as Pensando\u2019s products are already deployed across cloud and enterprise customers, including Goldman Sachs, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud, AMD stated.\u00a0\nIts technology is a key component in HPE company Aruba\u2019s data-center switch, the Aruba CX 10000. That switch includes an integrated Pensando DPU that reduces the need for separate security and load-balancing appliances. HPE is a big investor in Pensando having been part of its $145 million Series C funding in 2019 along with Lightspeed Venture Partners. HPE, too, has implemented the Pensando technology in some of its server line.\n\u201cHewlett Packard Enterprise was an early partner of Pensando because we shared the vision that the world would become far more distributed, and that enterprises would need edge-to-cloud architectures to accelerate their insights and outcomes,\u201d said Antonio Neri, president and CEO, HPE, in a statement. \u201cWe look forward to accelerating the development of these technologies with our long-standing partner AMD, whom we congratulate on this strategic acquisition.\u201d\nPensando is also part of VMware\u2019s Project Monterey, which melds bare-metal servers, GPUs, FPGAs, NICs, and security into a large-scale virtualized environment.\u00a0\nThe company is entering a hot DPU market as a number of key players including Intel, Nvidia, AWS are looking to develop smartNIC architectures.\nPensando is lead by a circle of ex-Cisco stars, including its chairmen of the board, former Cisco CEO John Chambers, Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero and Jiandani. The latter four have founded a number of companies that were spun back into Cisco during Chamber\u2019s time as CEO including Andiamo Systems for SAN switching, Nuova Systems for data-center switching and Insieme Networks for software-defined networking systems.\nCEO Jain and the Pensando team will join AMD as part of its Data Center Solutions Group, led by AMD Senior Vice President and General Manager Forrest Norrod.\nThe acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.