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HP brings Fore to its network

Hewlett-Packard will use Fore's ATM networking technology and expertise to enhance its own workgroup switching gear.

Hewlett-Packard (HWP) will use Fore Systems (FORE) expertise in asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) networking technology to add functionality to its networking products.

The two companies plan to deliver an ATM module for HP's workgroup AdvanceStack Switch 2000, which currently supports local area network (LAN)-based technologies such as Ethernet, Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), and HP's VG. The partnership will add an important connectivity option between LANs or over a wide area network (WAN).

ATM is a high-speed technology that has found acceptance as a networking pipe that connects LANs together across a campus, for instance, or provides a dedicated connection between different campuses.

Fore Systems has bet its business on ATM technology. The company currently has the greatest market share for switching products based on the high-speed pipe. HP's networking products traditionally have targeted small to medium-sized business. The new ATM module may attract a broader range of customers who might otherwise look outside HP for their networking gear.

The new AdvanceStack Switch 2000 ATM module will ship later this year for $8,999. The module will fit into one of the six slots in the base 2000 chassis.