Cisco Plans To Buy Arch Rock to Expand Presence in Smart Grid Market

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To further bolster its position in the emerging smart grid arena, Networking equipment giant Cisco Systems on Thursday morning revealed its intent to acquire privately held Arch Rock Corp., a pioneer in Internet Protocol-based wireless network technology for smart-grid applications. According to Cisco, this acquisition will enable the company to offer a comprehensive and highly secure advanced metering infrastructure solution that is fully IP and open-standards based. And, thereby, it will accelerate its ability to facilitate the utility industry's transition to an open and interoperable smart grid.

"Arch Rock's wireless mesh technology enhances Cisco's IP-based, end-to-end smart-grid offerings," said Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Smart Grid business unit, in a statement. "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 optimize operational costs," he added.

Arch Rock's technology is designed to enable utilities to connect smart meters and other distributed intelligent devices over a scalable, highly secure, multi-way wireless mesh network.  The acquisition complements the recently announced strategic alliance between Itron and Cisco to develop solutions that enhance smart-metering technology. 

Upon the close of the acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the second half of the year, the Arch Rock team will become part of Cisco's Smart Grid business unit. However, no financial terms of this deal were disclosed.

Arch Rock, a pioneer in IP-based wireless sensor network (WSN) technology, brings to Cisco a proven team with valuable experience in the development of wireless networking for smart-grid applications. According to Arch Rock, its PhyNet architecture, an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and grid communications platform, is the foundation for turning wireless sensing or metering points into IP- and web-enabled devices that can communicate data locally or globally, enabling ubiquitous, non-disruptive and cost-effective instrumentation.

As reported on TechCrunchIT, Arch Rock raised $15 million in venture investment from three key investors, which include New Enterprise Associates, Intel Capital and Shasta Ventures.


Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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