Interplanetary Blasts Off

A stealthy, well-funded company located in Malaysia and backed by a royal lineage of investors is diving into the core routing and switching market with a groundbreaking new product.

Interplanetary Networks, which is headquartered in the world-famous Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, is building a core networking box that will combine the functions of the terabit router and an optical switch, sources close to the company say.

Interplanetary Networks (no Website) still considers itself in stealth mode and will not comment on the product. But sources in Silicon Valley's venture capital community who looked at the company say the product is designed to meld the idea of transparent optical switching and high-speed routing so that high-priority traffic, such as video, could be passed through to the optical switch, creating a sort of two-lane control plane for the carrier core.

Sources say that Interplanetary was founded by Ku Sumaran, a reclusive engineer and Malaysian native. After earning his PhD in astrophysics from Stanford University, he worked at Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), and the SETI Institute.

Sumaran is a descendent of a former Malaysian monarch, Kuteng Makaria, and is believed to be a billionaire. He used money from the royal family -- including some raised by the sale of several servants -- to fund the company, and thus no outside investors are involved. Some sources put the funding as high as $350 million.

It's widely believed that Interplanetary is using a 3D MEMS chip, supplied by a major Chinese vendor, as the technology basis for its optical switch. For the terabit router, Interplanetary is designing its own ASICs and the box is expected to exceed the capacity of Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) CRS-1.

"I've heard it's pretty revolutionary -- they are going after a hybrid 'hollow-core/packet core' model," says one Silicon Valley VC, Sanford Chapstick, who requested anonymity. "And they claim it levitates. But personally, I think they are nuts."

Sources say the routing/switching product, which will be named the IPO9000, will have a total capacity of 500 Terabits and will be able to switch as many as 10,000 ports while at the same time streaming a multicast libary of Jackie Chan movies in MPEG-4 format.

The optical switch will include a video switching technology known as Video Tag Routing (VTR), which sounds impressive but actually doesn't mean a damn thing.

Interplanetary's CEO, Krishnamurti Bloviate, has a fat resumé. He has worked at Xros, Charlotte's Web, Tachion, Alidian, Metro-Optix, and Enron. Post-Enron, he worked for many years as a venture capitalist.

"Frankly, it's time to spend more money," said Bloviate, reached briefly for comment on an Australian golf course.

— The Staff, Light Reading

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Prizm 12/5/2012 | 3:20:32 AM
re: Interplanetary Blasts Off I hope!
ThouShaltNotJudge 12/5/2012 | 3:20:31 AM
re: Interplanetary Blasts Off yeah, c'mon LR - you're gonna have to do better than this. many of your readers were born at night, but it wasn't last night!

DPD 12/5/2012 | 3:20:31 AM
re: Interplanetary Blasts Off Hugh R. S. Ucker

== You Are A Sucker

Not this time LR. Good luck next year!
DPD 12/5/2012 | 3:20:31 AM
re: Interplanetary Blasts Off Uh-uh. No such PhD at Stanford. Try again LR.
stillworking 12/5/2012 | 3:20:31 AM
re: Interplanetary Blasts Off hmmm, seems the boom times are back, maybe some hope for 40g after all - anyone still in the business???
metroman 12/5/2012 | 3:20:30 AM
re: Interplanetary Blasts Off Really! Sherlock is alive and well!

Come on - this was hardly disguised was it?

Selling servants to build a core router?
Acronyms that mean nothing?
10,000 ports on a levitating optical router while streaming Jackie Chan movies?
The anonymous guy that they named "Sandford Chapstick"?
The CEO who post Enron worked as a venture capitalist...?

Don't give yourselves too many pats on the back. It's hardly CSI stuff!

stuartb 12/5/2012 | 3:20:29 AM
re: Interplanetary Blasts Off LoL, the editors for USTA's daily lead fell for it. They carried the story today in their daily email.
douggreen 12/5/2012 | 3:20:29 AM
re: Interplanetary Blasts Off Here's a list of the ideas I sent to the LR editors:

GǣNotebart announces Qwest intent to buy Verizon and SBCGǥ
GǣSBC and BellSouth open fiber plant to competitive accessGǥ
GǣRBOCs complete RFPs and trials, begin deployment of FTTH in all major citiesGǥ
GǣLucent follows Nortel in hiring of ex-Cisco exec; Chambers to take over top position at LuGǥ

My Favorite:

(Vendor name deleted to avoid lawsuits)

GǣXXXX Networks announces that its Enterprise 1U stackable switch can be used as a Core RouterGǥ

XXXX Networks announced today that it plans to quadruple revenue this year by offering its stackable Ethernet switches for the Core Router market. GǣOur Switches are a fraction of the cost of Core RoutersGǥ said XXXX CEO. GǣCarriers can save billions by using our stackable Enterprise switches in the Internet core.Gǥ GǣWow, these boxes are really cheap compared to Cisco 12000sGǥ said Scott Clavenna, Heavy Reading analyst. GǣWhile Carriers probably wonGt buy them, or even take them seriously for that matter, it may put real pricing pressure on Cisco and JuniperGǥ said Clavenna. While each switch may have less capacity than a single port on products from Juniper or Cisco, dozens of them can be stacked to add up to as much capacity as necessary. GǣJust TRY to stack a dozen Cisco 12000s, I dare youGǥ said XXXX VP of customer support. GǣWeGve got the software licked tooGǥ said XXXX CTO. GǣWeve downloaded the GateD version of BGP from the Internet and should have it working soon. Until then, weGre encouraging potential customers to use Spanning Tree to run the Internet.Gǥ Customers were not available for comment.

I guess they couldn't run this since a similar story ran 2 weeks ago :)
turing 12/5/2012 | 3:20:29 AM
re: Interplanetary Blasts Off how about "Lightreading acquired by Donald Trump: all editors fired"
or "Chinese product copied by US firm"
or "Nortel names Catbert new CEO, replacing previous pointy-haired Boss"
dodo 12/5/2012 | 3:20:28 AM
re: Interplanetary Blasts Off "the Malaysian monarchy is a unique system as it is the only country where its King is elected every five years, unlike the traditional system where the Monarch ascends the throne through lineage and remains until his abdication or death."

Should have done your homework? :-)
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