Caspian Networks announced Friday that it has forged a relationship with four manufacturers that will make its telecom equipment. The San Jose, Calif.-based maker of network switches signed a deal with IBM, which will make chips for the company along with Applied Micro Circuits. Caspian also signed an agreement with Iona, which will provide software. Electronics maker Celestica will combine the parts made by these manufacturers to put together Caspian's Apeiro switch.
Caspian expects to make the Apeiro switch widely available to telecom carriers in early 2002 and already has given product samples to potential customers to try in their labs, according to Dallas Kachan, the company's director of communications. The company made its optical equipment for long-haul communications networks, which transmit data between cities, and will compete against equipment from Juniper Networks, Cisco Systems and others. As of December, privately held Caspian has raised a total of $140 million in three rounds of venture capital funding.