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Cabletron shows off gigabit gear

The company displays the fruits of its purchase of start-up Yago Systems at the ComNet trade show.

Cabletron Systems (CS) today showed off the fruits of its Yago Systems purchase.

The recent acquisition of the start-up reflects a new understanding by Cabletron that its previous attempts to underplay the role of routing technology in networks may have limited its message. The firm rolled out its new wares at the ComNet trade show in Washington, a hotbed for hard-core networking professionals.

"The equation has changed," Michael Skubisz, vice president of technology for Cabletron, said at a press conference.

The difference between the technology Yago has provided Cabletron and traditional routers, such as those offered by Cisco Systems, is the essentially the difference between hardware and software.

By providing routing functions in function-specific silicon, Yago and other players in the space have dropped the price and performance quotient for the technology, previously based on general processors and a complicated set of software.

Cabletron will relabel the Yago technology as SmartSwitch Routers and offer them in two forms: an eight-slot model, available in the second quarter; and a 16-slot model, due in the second half of this year. Prices for the equipment will start at $499 per port for Fast Ethernet, though the real advantage of the technology is support for Gigabit Ethernet, the next-generation standard for the dominant networking pipe.

The company also pledged wider use of industry standards for its SecureFast feature set for networks as well as integration with its SmartSwitch 6000 and 9000 switching hardware by the second half of this year. Interfaces with wide area technologies such as SONET (synchronous optical network) are also in the works.