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Broadcom Switches on FC

Chipmaker Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) has its eyes on the embedded Fibre Channel switch market, now that it's officially picked up what was left of Gadzoox Networks Inc. (see Broadcom Acquires Gadzoox).

As reported by Byte and Switch last month, Broadcom was the winning bidder for Gadzoox, the formerly high-flying Fibre Channel switch vendor that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year. Broadcom says it will pay about $5.8 million in cash, subject to a post-closing adjustment, for Gadzoox's assets -- a far cry from the company's market cap of nearly $2 billion just three years ago (see Broadcom Gulps Gadzoox and Gadzoox Runs Out of Road).

"What we're doing is leveraging all the Layer 1 expertise we have and filling in the missing piece to expand our footprint in the data center," says Shriraj Gaglani, product line manager for Broadcom's storage networking group.

Broadcom, whose forte is developing integrated silicon for communication and networking gear, has already offered Fibre Channel SerDes (serializers/deserializers); now, with Gadzoox, it plans to offer a variety of FC-based silicon products. The company also sells Gigabit Ethernet and iSCSI controllers, Serial ATA controllers and I/O bridges, multiprotocol Gigabit Ethernet switch fabrics, and broadband network processors.

The company claims its overall strategic goal is to drive the Fibre Channel market toward commoditization. "We're a high-volume supplier of silicon technology, and markets don't become high-volume until they become standardized," Gaglani says.

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