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Cisco to buy Greenfield Networks

Company's move, for an undisclosed sum, is designed to expand its so-called metro Ethernet features.

Cisco Systems has agreed to buy Greenfield Networks in a move designed to expand its Ethernet lineup, the companies said Monday.

Greenfield, a privately held Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company with 60 employees, develops semiconductors designed to improve Ethernet packet processing for the so-called metro Ethernet market. Telecommunications carriers use the technology to string together a number of corporate networks within a metropolitan-area network, allowing these companies to use VoIP and data over their networks.

"By integrating Greenfield Networks technology with Cisco's family of metro Ethernet switches, we will be able to improve the time to market of new carrier-class features to our service provider partners," Kathy Hill, senior vice president of Cisco's Ethernet and Wireless Technology Group, said in a statement.

Greenfield, which also has offices in Bangalore, India, was founded in 2000. Cisco plans to fold Greenfield's product portfolio and employees into Hill's group, once the deal closes during Cisco's current fiscal quarter, which ends in late January. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The networking giant has been building up its metro Ethernet offerings over a number of years, as the concept of metro Ethernet has become mainstream.