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Juniper, IBM team on net gear

Juniper Networks will use chips from IBM in a new line of routing switches intended for the interconnection points of the Internet.

The buzz surrounding Net gear start-up Juniper Networks may only increase with the announcement today that its upcoming products will include chips from computing monolith IBM.

The Mountain View, California-based Juniper is developing a device intended for the interconnection points of the Internet. Specified chip technology from IBM will be used in the as-yet-unannounced products, which are expected to compete with high-end devices made by networking industry stalwarts like Cisco Systems and Ascend Communications.

Many are viewing interest in Juniper from Cisco competitors as evidence that their technology--the particulars of which are currently a closely guarded secret--could offer an alternative to routers for the "backbone" of the Internet and large enterprise networks.

IBM will supply Juniper with ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) chips custom-designed for the start-up's upcoming line of routing switches which purportedly will speed data packets at rates of billions per second.

Cisco officials have often said that they view the start-up community as more significant competitors, in some respects, than entrenched networking firms such as Bay Networks and 3Com.

Juniper received $40 million in a second round of funding from a variety of high-profile players in the industry in August. The gear is expected to roll out next year.