Chinese Internet Giants Alibaba & Tencent Invest in Switching Chip Startup Barefoot Networks

23 November 2016
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Chinese Internet Giants Alibaba & Tencent Invest in Switching Chip Startup Barefoot Networks Image Credit: Barefoot Networks

Following closely on its June launch of the 'first-ever' fully user-programmable switching chips, Barefoot Networks announced an additional investment of $23 million, led by Chinese internet giants, Alibaba and Tencent.

The investment is part of the company’s Series C round, bringing total Series C investment to $80 million. The company which was founded in 2013 but emerged from stealth earlier this year, has raised a total of more than $150 million.

Barefoot said its Tofino chip is on track for delivery to customers at the end of Q4, 2016. Systems built using Tofino will enable Barefoot customers and partners to specify the desired packet processing behavior in the devices on their networks – down to the packets flowing on the wire.

Silicon Valley-based Barefoot claims to be the first to launch such a product which processes data at 6.5 terabits/second, is also the fastest switching chip ever built.

Tom Bie, VP Technology and Engineering Group, Tencent, a leading provider of Internet value-added services in China
Tencent is delighted to join hands with Barefoot as it goes to market with technology destined to make profound advancements in the ways networks are designed, built and run. Barefoot gives network operators the ultimate freedom to create the network they want, rather than designing around limitations of available technology. 

Martin Izzard, CEO and Co-founder of Barefoot Networks
Barefoot’s unveiling of Tofino in June signaled the beginning of the end for the ‘fixed-function’ switching chips that have dominated the networking landscape since their introduction in the ‘90s. Venture firms, network operators and networking equipment leaders alike seized on this breakthrough, and their support of Barefoot has been unprecedented. 

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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