Intel has announced a networking blitz, calculated to flatten prices across the board.
With products ranging from Network Interface Controller (NIC) cards to switches and routers, the company wants to spark a price war with networking vendors such as 3Com, push the market towards an early adoption of Gigabit Ethernet, and reinforce its dominance in the PC processor market.
In addition, the company laid out its vision of home LANs, bringing corporate network technology to the mass consumer market.
For the home and small business market, the InBusiness range emphasises ease of setup and use, and is targeted at consumers who have neither the technical knowledge or the space to set up a traditional LAN.
It includes two 10Mbps hubs, three 100Mbps Fast Ethernet hubs, two Ethernet switches, and a device to allow multiple PCs to share the same Internet connection called the Internet Station.
Intel claims the market for home LANs is set to take off, estimating that there are 14 million homes worldwide with more than one PC, set to rise to 30 million by 2000.
At the high-end, Intel announced a new stackable, scalable Layer 3 routing switch designed for campus environments that can be upgraded to Gigabit Ethernet in the future.
At both the low- and high-end, Intel faces stiff competition.
Last year's acquisitions of Case Technologies and Danya Systems have allowed it to compete with the big fih, such as Cisco and Bay Networks, in the router and switch markets.
At the low-end, it is battling with 3Com for the NIC card market.
Last week's moves in the networking market reinforce Intel's long-term strategy of bringing down the cost of networking bandwidth, clearing up the network bottleneck which inhibits the performance of connected desktop machines, and so fuelling the growth of its own high-performance processors.
By stimulating growth in the performance of networks, Intel hopes to justify its push for faster chips.
Intel: 01793 431155.
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