Dell’Oro Group Inc. says worldwide router sales will decline two per cent from 2002, reaching US$6.2 billion this year – the third year in a row the market has shrunk. Expected carrier spending cutbacks of between five per cent and 10 per cent on wireline equipment is the cause for the slide, Dell’Oro says. Growth in the market is predicted over the long run, however, as router sales are expected to reach US$7.9 billion by 2007. Meanwhile, worldwide Ethernet LAN switch sales will grow three per cent this year to US$11.7 billion. The analyst firm says network expansions at small and midsized businesses will spur this growth over the next several years.

Optics spec to be tabled

Optical technology is being eyed as a way to boost communications between chips in multiprocessor systems and will be the subject of a proposed specification to be submitted to a standards consortium later this year, an official of Primarion Corp. said last month. The Tempe, Ariz.-based optical data communications systems company plans to make a proposal for an optical-enabled HyerpTransport specification to the HyperTransport Technology Consortium later in 2003, said Brian Wong, vice-president of marketing and business development at Primarion. Primarion is pursuing development of optical interfaces that would connect chips to boost efficiency in multiprocessor systems.

Vixel intros switch

Vixel Corp. in January introduced a 20-port back-end Fibre Channel switch designed as a SOC (system on a chip), a blade or a box and provides switching to disks found in an array. The new 20-port switch, dubbed InSpeed Model 320 SOC, joins the 312, a 12-port switch. Like the 312, the 320 was designed to be integrated into storage arrays as a mechanism to bringing switching capability to a traditional 16-drive JBOD (just a bunch of disks). The 312 and 320 feature 2Gbps FC per port. Brian Reed, senior director of business development, explains that the switch is designed into an array between the RAID controllers and the drive trays. He says it replaces a hub based on port bypass circuitry that is shared amongst all drives and therefore becomes a bottleneck if a disk fails.