Telecomms equipment manufacturer Lucent is entering the crowded corporate Lan arena by snapping up a one-year old Gigabit Ethernet start up for $200 million worth of Lucent stock.
The start-up, called Prominet, develops Layer Two and Layer Three Gigabit Ethernet Lan technology. It was founded by Menachem Abraham, one-time Chipcom chief technology officer and inventor of broadband Ethernet.
Its products will give Lucent another horse to back in the intelligent switch stakes: in September it unveiled a range of ATM-based intelligent switches for its data networking offerings.
Lucent, which is well known in the telecomms arena, said the deal signals a significant push into the corporate networking field.
Bill O?Shea, president of Lucent?s data networking systems group, said: ?Computer users have an insatiable demand for more bandwidth to communicate through Lans and over Wans like the Internet. That?s why the Gigabit Ethernet industry is expected to grow from infancy today to $1 billion by 2000.?
Prominet began shipping its P550 Cajun switch in September providing 10/100/1000Mbps of capacity in a seven-slot chassis. It will also begin customer trials of the Cajun switch with integrated routing. This offers packet-by-packet IP and IPX routing while performing the same Layer Three functions as traditional software-based routers.
The Prominet deal is the latest in a glut of acquisitions by Lucent this year. In October it bagged Livingston Enterprises, a provider of remote access networking products for the Internet. Earlier this year Lucent also acquired Octel, supplier of voice systems.
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