Intel gets serious about networking

Intel yesterday made it clear that it now also wants to be a power to reckon with in the networking industry.

In a series of announcements made yesterday, the chip maker introduced the first network processors in its new Internet Exchange (IX) architecture, as well as the creation of a $US200 million fund dedicated to investing in companies developing software and hardware products based on the new chip architecture.

In addition, to further boost the IX Architecture efforts, Intel also said it has acquired all the shares it didn't already own in Mountain View, California-based NetBoost, a privately held networking company in which Intel has held a minority stake since July 1998.

Intel is combining its own core technologies with those of its recent acquisitions, such as Level One Communications, to build a new portfolio of silicon products aimed at the telecommunications and networking industries.

The flagship product in the IX Architecture series, the IXP1200 reprogrammable network processor from Level One, for example, is built around Intel's StrongARM processor core.

A number of well-known networking vendors yesterday announced support for the IX Architecture, including Cabletron Systems, Cisco Systems and Newbridge Networks.

Intel also listed several third-party software developers that it said have announced support for the architecture.

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