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Routing

Router Hints

3:15 PM -- First, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) said things are stabilizing. And now EZchip Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: EZCH) is saying, indirectly, that Juniper is back buying network processors, and that Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is ramping up, too.

EZchip sells the network processors that go onto some Juniper linecards and, it's believed, Cisco's ASR 9000 cards as well. (See Chipping Away at Cisco's ASR 9000.)

In reporting earnings this morning, EZchip said its largest customer -- that would be Juniper, at 39 percent of revenues -- began buying chips again in June, after taking a breather to use up inventory. (See Inventory Blues.)

That doesn't necessarly mean linecards for the Juniper MX are flying off the shelves, but it hints at the return to normality that Juniper talked about, even if CEO Kevin Johnson was reluctant to declare the worst is over. (See Juniper Stays Cautious After Q2.)

Separately, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) represented 16 percent of EZchip's revenues in the quarter, cracking the 10 percent ceiling. That would be for the customized NP-3c chip designed for Cisco. (See EZchip's Top Customer.)

Against the whole of Cisco's earnings, it might not mean much. But it's a bit of an optimistic light ahead of Wednesday's Cisco earnings. Cisco is always heavily anticipated, but it seems even more so this quarter, with companies like Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) reporting standout earnings, compared with Juniper's reticence.

Marvell should become EZchip's biggest customer eventually, CEO Eli Fruchter still says. But he noted on today's earnings call that Marvell's orders will be sporadic at first; it sounds as if we shouldn't count on Marvell being in the 10 percent club every quarter.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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