Sun completes acquisition of Afara

Sun Microsystems Inc. Tuesday announced it has completed the acquisition of Afara Websystems Inc., hoping to improve its UltraSPARC line of processors.

Sun first revealed plans to acquire Afara, based in San Jose, California, last month, during a news conference on future UltraSPARC chips. Afara has been working on SPARC-based chip designs and planned to produce IP (Internet Protocol) traffic management systems that would help service providers deliver QoS (quality of service) to customers on IP networks.

David Yen, vice president of Sun's processor products group, hinted during the news conference that Afara's technology might be targeted at accelerating tasks such as Internet traffic management and other networking functions. Although Sun sells the vast majority of SPARC-based systems, any company can license the SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) instruction set from SPARC International Inc., a nonprofit organization. Companies such as Fujitsu Microelectronics America Inc. also make SPARC processors.

Sun, in Santa Clara, California, has acquired all the outstanding stock of Afara and hired most of the company's employees in the deal, according to a Sun statement released Tuesday.

Little information on Afara's products was ever available on its Web site. A note on the site reads, "Afara's product strategy will be revealed as its innovative technology nears introduction. Stay tuned as we help shape the next generation Internet."

The Afara Web site now serves as a place holder with contact information.

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