Netgear Inc. announced last month a gigabit Ethernet switch geared to graphic design firms, video production studios, print shops and law offices that require high bandwidth. The GS108 is an unmanaged copper gigabit Ethernet switch with eight 10/100/1000Mbps ports. The device provides an autouplink feature and works on PC and Macintosh networks. The GS108 is available for about US$700. See for more info.

Intel to invest $150M in wireless

Intel Corp. will invest US$150 million in companies developing 802.11b and other wireless network products, the chip maker said recently. The money will come from the US$500 million Intel Communications Fund established three years ago. The fund will invest in companies developing hardware and software products and services that enable user-friendly and secure wireless network connections, simpler billing procedures, a robust infrastructure and new ways to connect while on the road, Intel says. The 802.11b protocol, or Wi-Fi, is a standard for wireless LANs operating in the 2.4-GHz spectrum offering transmission speeds up to 11Mbps. An increased uptake of wireless LAN will benefit Intel. The chip maker in the first half of next year will launch a chip, code-named Banias, that has built-in support for 802.11b and 802.11a. The 802.11a protocol is a standard for wireless LANs operating in the 5-GHz frequency range with a maximum data rate of 54Mbps.

Fault management firm closes

Start-up Premonitia Inc., an Acton, Mass.-based fault-management company that boasted network industry icon Paul Severino as its chairman, has closed up shop. “The challenges of maturing our technology for the diversity and rigors of production IP networks were deeper than our research, and therefore we have discontinued efforts to commercialize the technology,” says Peter Vicars, who was CEO of the company, which was founded last year on US$3.2 million in seed financing. “Maybe we will find a partner with deeper research pockets where [our] algorithms will be evolved and adapted in the future for the benefit of the industry.”

eSO Advisor to track security

ESsecurityOnline LLC, a security software company owned by Ernst & Young LLP, is wading into the security management market with a new vulnerability management appliance. The product, called eSO Advisor, will use a database of information collected by Ernst & Young experts to help organizations track and manage security vulnerabilities on their networks and will sell for US$32,495, according to Ernst & Young. The product allows companies to automatically generate and maintain informational profiles of assets such as hardware devices, operating systems and installed applications.