The report surveys off-the-shelf switch fabrics, both packet- and cell-based, that promise to replace ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) as the key components in a wide range of future equipment, from multiservice switching platforms to routers.
Using off-the-shelf switching fabric chips rather than ASICs promises to help system vendors catch the wave as the telecom equipment market recovers. They enable vendors to reduce time-to-market and to overcome the fact that many of them no longer have in-house ASIC development teams, says report author Simon Stanley, founder and principal analyst of Earlswood Marketing Ltd.
Acceptance of off-the-shelf silicon has increased to a level where systems vendors will consider buying in such a complex part as a switch fabric, says Stanley. And today there is plenty of choice of standard components from third-party vendors. No fewer than twelve switch fabric vendors are covered in Stanley's report. They are:
- Agere Systems Inc. (NYSE: AGR.A)
- Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) (Nasdaq: AMCC)
- Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM)
- Dune Networks
- Erlang Technology Inc.
- Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL)
- Mindspeed Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MSPD)
- Sandburst Corp.
- Tau Networks Inc.
- TeraChip Inc.
- Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS)
- ZettaCom Inc.
— Pauline Rigby, Senior Editor, Light Reading