Texas Instruments is promising to shake up the networking industry with its new 0.18 micron TImeline technology, which allows up to 125 million transistors to be manufactured in a single chip: the Dallas, Texas company says that TImeline is so powerful that all local area network switch, router and wide area network uplink functions can be integrated onto a single chip, and that a TImeline-based switch the size of a Coke can could carry and switch all of the traffic on the Internet. TI also claims that TImeline technology can be used to provide Gigabit – and even Terabit – networking in silicon, as well as advanced management and flow-control techniques. Indeed, the company says that a joint project with Stanford University is currently involved with developing Terabit-speed Ethernet switching, and that through unique scheduling algorithms for unicast and multicast traffic, the switch will have maximum throughput of close to 100%. Testing of the technology will take place at a new Networking Technology Center. TI says it is currently in talks with OEM manufacturers, and that it hopes to begin work with beta customers during Q3. The technology will be available in sample quantities next year, with full production slated for 1998. There is no word on pricing.
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