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Cisco (CSCO) says it will pay $30 million in cash and stock options to acquire closely held chipmaker Vihana.

Several of Vihana's executives have developed chips for



and Cisco. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has about 27 employees and designs semiconductors for Cisco's computer networking equipment.

Cisco holds a minority stake in the four-year-old company.

Vihana will be the San Jose networking gearmaker's fourth and smallest acquisition this year. The move shows that Cisco is still looking for new technologies to help stay ahead of aggressive competitors like






and China's


, all of which have invaded the company's main switching and routing turf.

Last month, Cisco bought Topspin Communications for $250 million in cash and options. The Mountain View tech shop makes programmable server switches for data applications, storage and computer networking. Topspin gives Cisco a new crack at an advanced generation of switching that connects servers.

Cisco was down 7 cents to $19.40 in early trading Monday.