Multi-billion-dollar AMD acquisition could give EPYC an all-important edge

A promotional image of an AMD Epyc processor
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD has announced that it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire the distributed computing provider Pensando for approximately $1.9bn.

Through its acquisition of Pensando, the chipmaker aims to take its EPYC data center processors to the next level by utilizing the company’s fully programmable packet processor and comprehensive software stack which accelerates networking, security, storage and other services for cloud, enterprise and edge applications

AMD chair and CEO, Dr. Lisa Su provided further insight in a press release on how acquiring Pensando will add a distributed services platform to its existing portfolio of chips, saying:

“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. 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.”

Data center performance boost

Pensando’s products are already deployed at scale across the cloud and enterprise by a number of big-name customers including Goldman Sachs, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud.

This is quite remarkable as the company only exited stealth back in 2019 with the aim of taking on AWS in the cloud computing space.

Pensando’s distributed services platform includes a programmable packet processor that can be distributed throughout a network to efficiently accelerate multiple infrastructure services simultaneously by offloading workloads from the CPU and increasing overall system performance. In real-world deployments, the company’s solution demonstrates between eight to thirteen times greater performance compared to other competing solutions.

As part of the deal, Pensando CEO Prem Jain and the rest of the company’s team will join AMD as part of the chipmaker’s Data Center Solutions Group which is led by senior vice president and general manager Forrest Norrod. Going forward, Pensando will remain focused on executing its product and technology roadmaps but now with additional scale to accelerate its business.

AMD’s acquisition of Pensando is expected to close during the second quarter of this year following customary closing conditions and approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.