MRV would join Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) as the only vendors shipping 100Gbit/s DWDM. Ciena (technically Nortel) was first, but Perrin says his hunch is that AlcaLu has now shipped more 100Gbit/s -- though not all of it to revenue-generating customers.
MRV also announced it's secured Amsterdam Internet Exchange B.V. (AMS-IX) as a 100Gbit/s customer.
The NP-5 is a 200Gbit/s network processor, meaning it's capable of handling a full 100 Gbit/s in one direction. That's a doubling of the throughput of the NP-4, meaning equipment vendors can build 100Gbit/s line cards using fewer chips.
The NP-5 also uses fewer types of memory chips. For the last couple of chip generations, EZchip has worked at moving more functions into inexpensive DRAMs; pretty much everything is there now except for a few items, such as access control lists, that still sit in not-so-inexpensive ternary content-addressable memories (TCAMs).
Mostly, all these chip vendors still compete against equipment vendors' own ASICs, and while EZchip has gotten designs into Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), the trend isn't stopping. As one industry executive at the Linley Group conference pointed out, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has hired Bill Lynch, a network processor expert who helped found long-ago router startup Procket. (See New Kid on the Cisco/Juniper Block, Procket Gets Cisco Exec and Cisco to Pay $89M for Procket Assets.)
That doesn't mean Lynch is going to build a network processor. (His group presented a memory architecture at last year's Hot Chips conference.) But you have to admit, the possibilities are interesting.
Its main competition so far is Semtech Corp. (Nasdaq: SMTC), which announced its gearbox in March.
Other recent 100Gbit/s developments and discussion:
- Level 3's Paul Savill: Not Hot on the Cost of 100G (video)
- 100G DWDM Market Growing
- AppliedMicro Intros 100G Gearbox
- SURFnet Uses Ciena's Coherent 100G
- AlcaLu's 100G Ready for Russia
- Xilinx Acquires Sarence
- Optical Transceivers Crack $1B
- Tabula & Friends Build 100G
- Xilinx Acquires Modelware for 100G
- Sumitomo Unveils New 100G Components
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading