NEC Plans Aggressive ADSL Push

TOKYO (05/08/2000) - With ambitions of seeing its chips inside 20 percent of the world's ADSL (asymmetric digital subsciber line) modems by 2003, NEC Corp. today announced an alliance with Santa Clara, California, -based ADSL chipset maker Integrated Telecom Express Inc. (ITEX).

Rather than manufacture finished products, NEC is planning to offer its technology to other companies that are designing and producing ADSL equipment ranging from consumer modems to carrier routers and switches.

ITEX will contribute its existing expertise in ADSL chipset design to the venture while NEC provides a new network processor based on the MIPS architecture. The processor, which runs at a clock speed of 100MHz, is significantly more powerful than competing products currently used in modems and means the modems will be able to handle future applications such as higher data rates, encryption and voice- over-DSL, said Kyuichi Hareyama, general manager of NEC's 2nd System LSI Division.

Behind the decision to partner with ITEX, in which Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. and Intel Corp. are investors, is an eagerness to get into the fast-expanding ADSL market, said Hareyama.

ITEX's existing ties with many ADSL modem makers gives NEC an immediate advantage in the market and the wide range of interoperability testing with other products means NEC will be in the market about a year earlier than if it attempted to do everything itself, said Hareyama.

The first fruits of the alliance, a reference design for modems, will be demonstrated at the upcoming Supercomm exhibition and made available to other manufacturers later this month, said Hareyama. Mass production is scheduled to begin in July and NEC is hoping the jointly developed modem will find its way into around 10 percent of all ADSL modems expected to be produced during the first year on sale.

NEC Corp., in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.nec.co.jp/. ITEX, in Santa Clara, California, can be found online at http://www.itexinc.com/.

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