A BELFAST-based cyber security firm which spun out of Queen's University has been bought over for an undisclosed sum by a NASDAQ-listed group headquartered in California and in Israel.
Titan IC, which has a staff of 30 at its Belfast science park base, has come under the ownership of Mellanox Technologies, which itself is in the process of being acquired by US chipmaker Nvidia in a $6.8 billion deal.
A spin-out from the Centre for Secure Information Technology (CSIT) at Queen's, Titan IC has developed ground-breaking technology for the detection of cyber threats on high-speed networks.
It licenses this intellectual property (IP) to a number of tier-one cyber security companies in Silicon Valley and Israel for use in products such as Next Generation Firewalls.
The Titan IC technology and team has benefitted from investments made by QUBIS, the accelerator fund for tech start-ups from Queen's, and it is also a client company of Invest NI.
The Belfast company's chief executive Noel McKenna said: "We're delighted to become part of Mellanox and together we will accelerate the pace of innovation and will advance network intelligence to new levels of performance and insight.
"As part of Mellanox, we will be able to achieve new capabilities for cyber intelligence, intrusion detection and protection, as well as advanced data analytics applications."
The acquisition is designed to further strengthen Mellanox’s network intelligence capabilities, with the deal bringing the company's M&A investments total to more than $1.2bn and more than $53m invested in start-ups.
Invest NI chief executive Kevin Holland said: "The acquisition by Mellanox Technologies, a world leading technology business, is testament to the quality and innovation of the Titan IC team in Belfast, and Northern Ireland’s technical expertise in cyber security.
"We have worked closely with Titan IC since 2007, not only offering financial assistance support but we are also a shareholder via Co-Fund NI.
"This marks an exciting new chapter for Titan IC, and we look forward to Mellanox becoming an important part of the burgeoning technology sector in Northern Ireland."
Mellanox Technologies president and chief executive Eyal Waldman, who was in Belfast yesterday to sign off on the acquisition, said: "Our customers will benefit from the deep analytics and enhanced security that will be delivered by the integration of our best-in-class Ethernet and InfiniBand products and world-leading deep packet inspection and analytics technologies from Titan IC."
Due to its extensive cyber security talent pool and excellent education system, Belfast is emerging as the leading cyber security hub for Europe.