Nortel spinoff pops gig copper wares

Netgear, the maker of small office/home office products that spun off from Nortel Networks, has introduced a suite of Gigabit-over-copper gear designed to enable users to inexpensively migrate to Gigabit Ethernet.

Even though larger vendors -- such as Cisco Systems, Foundry Networks and Extreme Networks -- are now shipping "gig copper" products, Netgear claims small businesses could not upgrade their networks to Gigabit speeds without installing expensive fibre optics. Netgear's four new products -- targeted specifically at the SOHO market -- support Category 5 copper, alleviating the need to pull fibre throughout a small business.

Nortel spun Netgear off earlier this year because SOHO networking was not core to Nortel's business. (

As many as 24 million homes in the US will have computer networking by year's end, and the home network market will grow to $US1.4 billion by 2003, Netgear CEO Patrick Lo recently told Network World.

Netgear's new products include The FS518T Fast Ethernet switch with Gigabit uplinks; the FS510T Fast Ethernet/Gigabit Ethernet switch; the GS504T copper Gigabit switch; and the GA620T Gigabit adapter card.

The FS518T connects client PCs to servers or other workgroups. It has 16 10/100Mbps (megabits per second) autosensing Ethernet ports for clients and two 100/1000Mbps autosensing ports for server and switch uplinks. The FS518T costs $US1995 and is available now.

The FS510T is a lower density version of the FS518T. It features eight 10/100Mbps autosensing ports and two 100/1000Mbps uplinks. It also supports RJ 45 connections with Category 5 cable. The FS510T lists for $1170 and will be available later this (northern) summer.

The GS504T serves as an aggregator of up to four FS518Ts or FS510Ts. It features four 100/1000Mbps ports with RJ 45 connectors. The GS504T lists for $2200 and is available now.

The GA620T Gigabit adapter card installs in servers for connection to a Gigabit Ethernet network. It is a 100/1000Mbps full-duplex autosensing Ethernet adapter for PCI bus-based systems, and supports drivers for Windows NT and Windows 2000 operating systems.

The GA620T has an RJ45 Category 5 cable connector. It lists for $465 and is available now.

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