AMD Expands Data Center Solutions Capabilities, Buys Pensando for $1.9B

Pensando is acquired by AMD for $1.9 billion before working capital and other adjustments. Pensando’s distributed services platform contains a high-performance, completely programmable packet processor and a comprehensive software stack for cloud, business, and edge applications that speed networking, security, storage, and other services.

The Pensando high-performance, highly scalable distributed services platform includes a programmable packet processor that can be distributed across a network to efficiently accelerate multiple infrastructure services at the same time, offloading workloads from the CPU and improving overall system performance. The platform, when combined with Pensando’s system software stack, would provide the highest performance, scale, flexibility, and security.

“To build a leading-edge data center with the best performance, security, flexibility and lowest total cost of ownership requires a wide range of compute engines,” said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD chair and CEO. “All major cloud and OEM customers have adopted EPYC processors to power their data center offerings. Today, with our acquisition of Pensando, we add a leading distributed services platform to our high-performance CPU, GPU, FPGA and adaptive SoC portfolio. The Pensando team brings world-class expertise and a proven track record of innovation at the chip, software and platform level which expands our ability to offer leadership solutions for our cloud, enterprise, and edge customers.”

Pensando’s technologies are already being used at scale by Goldman Sachs, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud, among other cloud and enterprise clients.

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Photo Dr. Lisa Su, AMD chair and CEO
“With our acquisition of Pensando, we add a leading distributed services platform to our high-performance CPU, GPU, FPGA and adaptive SoC portfolio,” said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD chair and CEO.

100,000 Pensando Platforms into Production

“We are excited to join the AMD family. Our shared cultures of innovation, excellence and relentless focus on partners and customers make this an ideal combination. Together, we have the talent and tools to deliver on our customers’ vision for the future of computing,” said Prem Jain, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Pensando. “In less than five years Pensando has assembled a best-in-class engineering team that are experts in building systems together with a rich, deep ecosystem of partners and customers who have currently deployed over 100,000 Pensando platforms into production. Joining together with AMD will help accelerate growth in our core business and enable us to pursue a much larger customer base across more markets.”

Prem Jain and the rest of the Pensando team will join AMD’s Data Center Solutions Group, which will be overseen by AMD Senior Vice President and General Manager Forrest Norrod.

Following the fulfilment of standard closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, the transaction is scheduled to conclude in the second quarter of 2022.

AMD has hired DBO Partners as its finance advisor, and Latham & Watkins LLP as its legal counsel. Pensando’s financial adviser is Centerview Partners, while the company’s legal counsel is Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Software-Defined Cloud, Compute, Networking, Security, Storage

“Industry leadership is based on catching business model disruptions enabled by new technologies,” said John Chambers, chair of the board of Pensando. “Pensando is built upon strong customer relationships and a solution that is at least two years ahead in cloud, edge and enterprise. For example, the performance and scale of Pensando’s distributed services platform is 8x-13x of the largest cloud provider and uses less power. Pensando’s smart switching architecture has 100x the scale, 10x the performance at one-third the cost of ownership of any comparable products in the enterprise market. Pensando’s leadership position in software-defined cloud, compute, networking, security and storage services as part of the much larger AMD portfolio is in my opinion a perfect fit to shape the data center computing landscape for the next decade.”

Pensando says it will continue to focus on executing their product and technology roadmaps, leveraging their increased size to build their business and meet rising market possibilities across a wider range of customers.

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Clients: HPE, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud

Hewlett Packard Enterprise – “Hewlett 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,” said Antonio Neri, president and CEO, HPE. “Together, we brought the cloud experience to the edge with the industry’s first distributed services switch, and we drove innovation across the data center by integrating future-proof Pensando distributed network and security services into our server portfolio and HPE GreenLake cloud services offering. We look forward to accelerating the development of these technologies with our long-standing partner AMD, whom we congratulate on this strategic acquisition.”

Microsoft Azure – “Pensando System’s full stack solution, complete with a P4 programmable processor and hyper scale software has enabled Microsoft Azure to rapidly augment its networking and security services improving performance, latency, and scale,” said Girish Bablani, corporate vice president, Microsoft Azure. “We have seen a 40x improvement in overall cloud based connection related performance. Pensando delivered this in less than 12 months. This partnership has enabled a transformational “limitless networking” shift that will ensure our customers have access to the highest performing products and services they expect from Microsoft Azure.”

Oracle Cloud – “By partnering with Pensando, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) has developed an industry leading Software Defined Networking stack, delivering infrastructure features to Oracle Cloud customers, that have the best price to performance characteristics in the cloud industry,” said Clay Magouyrk, executive vice president, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “Pensando’s P4 programmable platform enables OCI to continuously innovate and deliver secure and inexpensive network services with high velocity. The ability to rapidly add new features using a programmable hardware platform will help OCI leapfrog its cloud competitors. Pensando’s engineering team, consisting of many industry experts, has collaborated very successfully with OCI engineering, and have operated at times as OCI’s extension team. OCI views Pensando as a key strategic partner in achieving our goal of being the best infrastructure platform in the cloud industry.”