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Asanté Climbs Aboard Affordable GbE Switch Bandwagon

By Practically Networked Staff

10.15.2003.  Targeted directly at the small and home office (SOHO) and small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) markets, Asanté’s newest addition to its FriendlyNET GX5 family of Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switches delivers speed at an eye-opening price.

With a suggested retail price of $199, the eight-port GX5-800P comes in at under $25 per port, serving further notice that the GbE market has penetrated the desktop and laptop level.

"This switch really brings Gigabit networking to small or home-based businesses, such as those involved in digital graphics, publishing, or scientific activities," states Wilson Wong, Chairman, President, and CEO of Asanté. "Engineers designed the GX5-800P for businesses needing a small, quiet, reliable network switch. Our new switch strengthens Asanté’s commitment to bring affordable Gigabit Ethernet down to the desktop level."

The GX5-800P switch is also ideal for both ad hoc networks and for extending Gigabit Ethernet to several desktops around the workspace. As with all GbE switches, the compact GX5-800P transfers data across networks at speeds up to 1 Gbps (or 2 Gbps in full duplex mode), beneficial for quickly moving streaming media and large files, such as DVD-sized contents.

Key features in the GX5-800P include eight switched 10/100/1000 Mbps ports; a single integrated switch engine that automatically filters and forwards traffic at wire speed for all 8 ports simultaneously; Auto-Uplink for automatically utilizing both straight and crossover cables; compatibility with any Windows or Mac computer with a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port; an external switching power supply that uses less power; and a small footprint that allows the switch to be set up in very tight spaces.

The GX5-800P is available now through Asanté resellers and systems integrators.

Gigabit Ethernet Affordability Now a Reality

Following in the footsteps of Linksys, NETGEAR, SMC, Marvell, ZyXEL, and similar networking vendors, Asanté has targeted the small office/home office (SOHO) and small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) market with its new switch.

GbE switches have trickled down from large enterprise applications, with GbE-enabled laptops, PCs, and network interface cards (NICs) driving the cost of GbE to all-time lows. This, in turn, has accelerated the demand for higher bandwidth GbE switch performance across all segments of the market, further increasing volumes and reducing cost. According to IDC’s Worldwide Ethernet Semiconductor Forecast (2002 through 2007) report published in March, GbE switch silicon revenues are expected to grow from $348 million in 2002 to $1.063 billion in 2007, representing a 25% CAGR.

Additionally, market research firm iSuppli forecasts that shipments of Gigabit Ethernet ports in switches and hubs will exceed those for Fast Ethernet ports in 2005, coming in at 70 million vs. nearly 62 million for Fast Ethernet. iSuppli reports the biggest driver for the rapid growth in Gigabit Ethernet is the rapid decline in prices for Gigabit Ethernet interfaces in the PC, which in turn is fueling a demand for higher bandwidth interconnectivity in the LAN and at the edge of the WAN.

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