Intel announced today it has agreed to acquire QLogic's InfiniBand business for $125 million in cash, a move that's designed to enhance the company's networking and scalable high performance computing portfolio. The deal is expected to close by the end of the current quarter pending all regulatory approvals.

InfiniBand is a switched fabric communications link for data flow between processors and I/O devices used in high-performance computing and enterprise data centers. Intel says the acquisition supports their vision of innovating on fabric architectures to achieve ExaFLOP/s performance by 2018. An ExaFLOP/s is a quintillion computer operations per second, a hundred times more than today's fastest supercomputers.

The chipmaker said it expects a "significant number" of InfiniBand employees to join the company. Meanwhile, for QLogic the sale of its InfiniBand assets will help it focus on converged networking, Ethernet and storage area networking (SAN) products, the company said in a statement.

In other Intel news, the company recently offered a sneak peek at the construction of their upcoming Fab 42 in Arizona, due to be completed in 2013. The $5 billion factory will begin making chips with circuits just 14 billionths of a metre, or 14 nanometres, and will be key to reducing their processors' power requirements not only for traditional PCs, but also as it pushes heavily into the smartphone market.