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Mellanox Whisper

Mellanox Whisper

Research Question: Can Mellanox successfully grow its Ethernet solution and defend its InfiniBand lead despite Intel’s acquisitions and improvement to QLogic and Cray InfiniBand technology?

Companies Covered: Mellanox (MLNX), Intel (INTC)

Report Available: October 3, 2013


Blueshift’s initial research shows MLNX expanding its business through multiple acquisitions as it develops its next-generation technology, but competition is rising with Intel at the forefront focusing on high performance computing and Open Ethernet solutions.



  1. MLNX is focused on establishing itself in the 100 Gb/s market in 2014 and 2015 to better serve the high performance computing (HPC), Web 2.0, cloud, storage, database, and financial application sectors. MLNX reported the number of PetaScale supercomputers using MLNX solutions doubling from 4 to 8, as its InfiniBand technology is currently the only solution available for the petaflop level of supercomputing.
  2. MLNX is developing next-generation technology through recent acquisitions of IPtronics and Kotura. IPtronics enhances MLNX’s ability to offer faster interconnected solutions at the 100Gb/s level, while Kotura allows the company toeffectively compete with Intel’s proprietary silicon photonics technology, potentially increasing its competitive position in spite of MLNX’s small size.
  3. MLNX is facing significant competitive pressure from larger industry players. Intel is targeting 2015 for the integration of InfiniBand in its chip offerings, which could cause profitability hurdles for MLNX as Intel moves to furtherconsolidate its market position. In an effort to establish a foothold in the profitable “top-of-the-rack” niche, much of the technology produced by Intel is currently concentrated in the HPC space, which is MLNX’s forte. Intel also demonstrated a focus on its “Open Ethernet” solutions as it attempts to become the go-to name in the Ethernet space.
  4. As in Blueshift’s Nov. 14, 2012 and April 11, 2013 reports, MLNX continues to be challenged in expanding the use of its InfiniBand products outside of HPC. While all 14 sources in our April report expect the InfiniBand market to grow in 2013, they added that widespread InfiniBand adoption by enterprises and others market segments is unlikely this year.


To determine whether MLNX grow its Ethernet solution and defend its InfiniBand lead from Intel, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: open Ethernet and InfiniBand end users, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), IT and systems integrators, and industry specialists.


To see other ideas Blueshift Research is currently working on, please click here.