3Com is pushing hard for industry and user support of Gigabit Ethernet, announcing a sheaf of products over the next few weeks.
It looks like a deliberate attempt to establish itself as the lead player, upstaging the IEEE specification for Gigabit Ethernet, due in 1998.
The new family includes a server adaptor, stackable switch and links for existing switches across workgroups and backbones - key competitive advantages if 3Com is to establish a market lead prior to the spec. Due to ship in September, the Switch II 9000 SX costs around $20,000 with the server adaptor and uplinks ranging between $3,000 and $18,000.
3Com also announced its first shipments of the new Premier line of Fast EtherLink XL Network Interface Cards and DynamicAccess Features to 100Base-T4.
The XL 10/100BASE-T4 PCI network interface card provides a Fast Ethernet connection across category 3, 4, or 5 Unshielded Twisted Pair cable, and the Fast EtherLink XL T4 network interface card operates at 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps.
It includes Advanced DynamicAccess software features, bringing more intelligence to the network by interfacing with other network components.
Rakefet Kasdin, vice president and general manager of 3Com?s Ethernet Products Division said: ?By enabling Fast Ethernet connections across all types of UTP cable and to both desktops and notebooks... high-speed connections are more flexible... and [we are] uniquely positioned to drive the growth of the Fast Ethernet market.?
The Fast EtherLink XL 10/100Base-T4 PCI network interface card, combines with 3Com?s SuperStack II Hub 100 T4 for an end-to-end 100Base-T4 solution. The SuperStack II Hub 100 T4 is stackable up to eight units to form a single logical repeater, consisting of a mixture of SuperStack II Hub 100 T4 and Hub 100 TX products.
The Hub 100 T4 provides 12 100BASE-T4 Fast Ethernet ports with an optional 100Base-TX or 100Base-FX port, integrating a range of Fast Ethernet connections into a single system. The 10/100BASE-T4 Fast EtherLink XL PCI network interface card ships this week at $149 in packs of twenty or packs of five. The SuperStack II Hub 100 T4 is available now at $199 per port.
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