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Small Californian networking company Retix Inc has re-labeled its core networking business as Sonoma Systems, and spun it out as a wholly owned subsidiary. Los Angeles, California-based Retix Inc is now a holding company for its two divisions, the telecommunications network management subsidiary Vertel and the network equipment business Sonoma, between which its $31m yearly revenues are equally split. Retix says it changed the name of its network equipment business to reflect its new product, a wide area network access switch, Sonoma Access. It hopes that the new product is going to revive its dismal financial fortunes, with net losses for the last four years rising to a peak in 1995 of a $31.8m loss on revenues of $38.8m. Last year revenues fell further to $31.1m, with a net loss of $3.8m. Which division accrued the heavy losses is not revealed by Retix, as it doesn’t split out the accounts of Vertel, but plans to separate the revenues out in forthcoming accounts. It’s fairly clear that the networking products division can’t have been doing too well: the company has suspended research and development on its current range of local area network Ethernet switching, bridging, and routing products, and hasn’t updated them for two years, although it promises to continue to support existing customers. The new wide area switch uses Asynchronous Transfer Mode to aggregate local area networking traffic and transfers it onto a wide area network. The switch uses a PCI bus and Intel Corps x86 family of Pentium Microprocessors. It transfers data at 155Mbps speeds, with future operation tabled for 622Mbps. The switch has interfaces for FDDI, 10/100 Ethernet, and 25Mbps ATM, and in a low end configuration costs around $10,000. It has been shipping to early customers for two months. Retix is pursuing sales with networking OEMs and also large telecoms companies.

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CBR Staff Writer

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