Intel acquires chip maker Altera for $16.7 billion, embracing a class of microprocessors that represent the future of the massive data centers that underscore the world’s online services.
“The acquisition will couple Intel’s leading-edge products and manufacturing process with Altera’s leading field-programmable gate array FPGA technology,” Intel said in a statement. “The combination is expected to enable new classes of products that meet customer needs in the data center and Internet of Things (IoT) market segments.”
Altera makes FPGAs—chips you can program to perform very specific tasks. Since these chips don’t entail as much power and as much space as the microprocessors that have traditionally driven the world’s internet services, many believe they will become increasingly predominant in data centers. Microsoft is already using these chips in part to power it’s Bing search engine.