AMCC snaps up Fibre Channel maker JNI

Applied Micro Circuits Corp. this week expanded its reach into storage with the announcement that it has acquired JNI Corp., a maker of Fibre Channel hardware and software for Solaris and Windows networks.

AMCC, which makes network processors and switch components, will pay US$190 million for JNI. AMCC will incorporate JNI’s Fibre Channel technology into its WAN products.

Observers have long rumored that JNI was on the market. The company competes with Emulex Corp. and Qlogic Corp. in the Fibre Channel host bus adapter market and has seen many of its employees leave in the last two years.

Acquisitions of storage hardware components companies are speeding up, as are acquisitions to broaden a company’s portfolio. In March Broadcom Corp. bought the assets of Gadzoox Networks Inc., one of the first Fibre Channel manufacturers, to expand from networking into storage. It has even been rumored that network processor manufacturer Agere Systems Inc. is interested in the assets of Trebia Networks Inc., a maker of network processors for storage.

Storage consolidation has also occurred as a bunch of high-profile acquisitions have been made by companies jockeying to cement their positions in the intelligent Fibre Channel switch market. Cisco Systems Inc. acquired Andiamo; Brocade Communications Systems Inc. acquired Rhapsody Networks Inc.; and as recent as this week, McData Corp. acquired Nishan Systems Inc. and Sanera Systems Inc.

The companies expect the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter of this year.