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Cisco snatches up Arch Rock

Cisco has bought smart grid tech developer Arch Rock, just days after it entered into a partnership with meter vendor Itron.

Cisco is making bold moves into the smart grid space, acquiring Arch Rock and partnering with Itron.
Cisco is making bold moves into the smart grid space, acquiring Arch Rock and partnering with Itron.

Network vendor Cisco has said that it will buy start-up Arch Rock for an undisclosed amount. The San Franscisco-based firm was developing IP-based wireless network technology which allows data to be collected from sensors used in the emerging "smart-grid" market.

Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Smart Grid business unit commented on the move: "Arch Rock's wireless mesh technology enhances Cisco's IP-based, end-to-end smart-grid offerings. This acquisition further positions Cisco as a strategic partner to utilities working to better manage power supply and demand, improve the security and reliability of energy delivery, and optimise operational costs."

The acquisition of Arch Rock signals a growing desire by Cisco to attain first-mover status in the smart grid market. Smart grids are intelligent power distribution systems which allow authorities and consumers to intelligent monitor and conserve electricity consumption. The move itself comes just a day after Cisco announced a wide-ranging partnership with smart meter vendor Itron to develop an communications platform based on the well-known Internet Protocol, rather than the currently-used proprietary ones. That deal also means that Cisco's equipment will become the default for use in Itron's own smart meters.

Arch Rock will join Cisco's Smart Grid Business unit, when the deal formally completes in the second half of this year.

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