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In December 2022, reports suggested that Microsoft had acquired Fungible for around $190 million. Fungible is a startup in the Data Processing Unit (DPU) market, launched in 2016 by Bertrand Serlet, a former Apple software engineer who sold a cloud storage startup, Upthere, to Western Digital in 2017, alongside Krishna Yarlagadda and Juniper Networks co-founder Pradeep Sindhu.

On January 9, 2023, Microsoft confirmed the acquisition but not the purchase price and Fungible’s team will join Microsoft’s data center infrastructure engineering teams, which will focus on DPU services for storage and networking.

For Microsoft, acquiring Fungible is probably an answer to AWS move. AWS offers customers Nitro cards, which provide DPU-like functionality and is a technology the company continues to invest in, having unveiled version 5 at last month’s re:Invent.

“Fungible’s technologies help enable high-performance, scalable, disaggregated, scaled-out data center infrastructure with reliability and security. Today’s announcement further signals Microsoft’s commitment to long-term differentiated investments in our data center infrastructure, which enhances our broad range of technologies and offerings including offloading, improving latency, increasing data center server density, optimizing energy efficiency and reducing costs.”

Girish Bablani, the CVP of Microsoft’s Azure Core division

Fungible DPU are very interesting in term of performance:

  • CPU MIPS-64, 9-stage, dual-issue, 4xSMT, FPU/SIMD unit
  • 8GB, 4Tbits/sec High Bandwidth HBM2 Memory SoC
  • 2xDDR4 controllers, ECC enabled, up to 2666 MHz with up to 512GB and support of RDIMM, NVDIMM-N