Nexabit by John Geralds in Silicon Valley Nexabit Networks is the latest entrant to the Terabit router market and has just received $20 million in funding from Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures. It joins the likes of Juniper Networks and Avici Systems in trying to wrest control of the Internet backbone from Cisco.
Mukesh Chatter, founder and CEO of Nexabit Networks, pointed out that the company is pleased to receive such "high level support for our innovations?.
Chatter also said the funding is proof that the industry is ready for breakthrough core switching/routing technologies that will enable the next generation of Internet and carrier services.
Officials at the Massachusetts based firm said the company's routing switch will handle IP data packets directly at speeds similar to those of ATM, using packet-over-Sonet (synchronous optical network) technology. The switch also uses wave division multiplexing, which multiples the capacity of existing fibre optic cable.
According to the company, its combined carrier class ATM switch/IP router in a box, provides an internal switching bandwidth of 6.4Tbps, (which the company claims is 100 times faster than any announced products from its competitors).
"It's a very busy market area - it's going to be very competitive," said John Armstrong, analyst with market research firm Dataquest. "It's the new companies that are coming out with the different approach."
The apparent evidence that many believe Terabit speed startups have a chance to compete with Cisco comes from the group of venture capitalists that have funded these companies.
Silicon Valley Juniper has collected $62 million in funding from venture capitalists and companies such as 3Com and IBM. And Boston based Avici received $16 million in a first round of venture funding along with an equity investment from Northern Telecom, which purchased a 20 per cent stake in the company.
Nexabit also announced in late October the interoperability of a high density OC-192 interface for its multi-Terabit switch/router with transmission equipment by Hitachi Telecom.
"This is a smart move for Hitachi and is indicative of a trend that we should begin seeing from others as well," said Farrokh Billimoria, senior technical analyst for networking with Hambrecht & Quist.
Nexabit has also integrated IBM's Asic chips into its multi-Terabit switch/router. The combined technology will allow carriers and service providers to grow through several generations of backbone speeds as well as support emerging applications such as real time voice, video and multicasting.
Nexabit Networks received its initial start-up capital from Ray Stata, one of the founders and current chairman of Analog Devices. Stata currently serves as Nexabit's founder and chairman of the board. Nexabit's latest financing also comes from Hambrecht & Quist Venture Associates.
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