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LinuxJournal: Linux Enters Router Market

Feb 11, 2001, 22:30 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Linley Gwennap)

"With Internet traffic doubling every six months, networking is one of today's hottest markets. Linux has always played a key role in servers, but now the door is open for Linux to penetrate the heart of the Internet: the high-speed router. These devices, made popular by Cisco Systems, create the Internet by moving data from place to place."

"Today, Cisco owns about 80% of the router market. Its products use a proprietary software stack called IOS to handle all of the routing functions. But, as the router market continues to grow rapidly, many new companies are attempting to dethrone Cisco. Rather than designing their products entirely from scratch, many of these vendors use a new model that relies on third-party hardware and software."

"The catalyst for the new model is the network processor. This new device burst onto the scene a year ago and has already racked up more than 100 design wins with routers and other networking equipment. It replaces the custom silicon that Cisco and others painstakingly develop for each new product. Intel, Motorola, IBM, AMCC (through its recent purchase of MMC Networks), Lucent and Vitesse have all jumped into the network-processor market, and several start-ups are also developing products."

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